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How will the new Hong Kong visa work and who can apply for a path to UK citizenship?

Hong Kong

23 July 2020

Immigration expert Vanessa Ganguin explains the new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa system.

The UK Government has outlined a new immigration route to the UK for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) citizens and their dependent family members.

China’s new national security legislation on Hong Kong breaches the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, undermining the “one country, two systems” framework, the UK Home Secretary insisted. As part of the 1984 handover from the UK to China, Britain offered Hong Kong’s British Dependent Territories citizens the opportunity to register for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status.

The UK Government has now published guidance on the new immigration route to the UK to recognise their status and to protect their rights under the new security legislation.

Revealing the new immigration route to the UK on 22 July, Home Secretary Priti Patel explained: “Now that China, through its actions, has changed the circumstances that BN(O) citizens find themselves in, it is right that we should change the entitlements which are attached to BN(O) status. I have decided to improve significantly those entitlements, to reassure BN(O) citizens that they have options to live in the UK if they decide that is an appropriate choice for them.”

All your questions about the new immigration route are answered below…