Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

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Hong Kong BNO visa

The UK’s Hong Kong BNO visa allows British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) from Hong Kong, and their immediate family members, to live, work and study in the UK. The BNO visa is a route leads to indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship.

What is the Hong Kong BN(O) visa?

Prior to 31 January 2021, BNO passport holders could visit the UK for up to six months without a visa. The Hong Kong BN(O) visa was introduced by the UK Government in response to China’s parliament imposing a severe security law on Hong Kong.

The visa extends the rights of BNO nationals to settle in the UK.

Who can apply for BNO visa and what are the requirements?

To be eligible for the Hong Kong BNO visa, applicants must be 18 or over, have British national (overseas) status and ordinarily be resident in Hong Kong, the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

You will not need to have a valid BNO passport to make your application, as the Home Office should be able to check your status from records. Applicants will need to prove their identity, for example using any applicable nationality passport. You do not need to have a BN(O) passport to apply, provided you meet the other eligibility criteria.


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Which family members are eligible?

Your dependants may also be eligible to apply with you for the BN(O) visa. Dependant family members could include your:

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Unmarried partner, where you have been cohabiting for a minimum of 2 years at the time of the application
  • Child or grandchild under 18
  • Child 18 or older, born on or after 1 July 1997 (and their partner or child under 18)
  • Parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter (18 or older) if they live with you and are very dependent on you for their care

Dependants should also normally live with you.

What are the Maintenance requirements?

BN(O) visa holders must prove they can provide house and financially support themselves and their dependant family members for 6 months.

The level of funds required will depend on how many family members are applying with you, and will need to cover accommodation costs and be at least the equivalent level of Income Support in the UK. As a guide, this would be around:

£2,000 for a single adult
£3,100 for a couple with a child
£4,600 for a couple with 3 children
£9,200 for a couple, 2 parents and 2 adult children

How much does the BN(O) visa cost?

The BN(O) visa application fee is £180 for a 2 and a half year visa, or £250 for a 5 year visa. The fee is payable per applicant.

Is there a fee towards the Immigration Health Surcharge?

You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge at the time of making the application, to cover the relevant visa period (30 months or 5 years). The Immigration Health Surcharge is now £1,035 per visa holder per year, with a reduced rate for children. For a 5-year visa, this will equate to £5,170 per adult and £3,880 for applicants under 18 years of age.

In addition, each applicant will also need to pay £19.20 to submit biometric information.

Applying for the Hong Kong BNO visa

Applicants will have the choice to apply for a five year visa, or to apply for a 30-month visa, with the option to renew this for a further 30 months.

If you require any help or clarification about your ILR UK Spouse application, we will be happy to assist

How to apply from overseas

Complete the BN(O) visa application online. You will then be advised how you need to prove your identity to complete your application. This will require you to either use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your BNO, HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) or EEA passport, or to attend an appointment at a local visa application centre to submit your biometric information. If you have to attend an application centre, your passport may be retained while the application is processed.

How to apply from the UK

If you are already in the UK on a different visa, you can apply to switch to the BN(O) visa.

The BN(O) application has to be made online. You will be advised at the time of making your application if you need to verify your identity using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app (if you have a BNO, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) or EEA e-passport) or if you need an appointment at a UKVCAS centre.

Each family member has to apply for the same period of leave as you, ie two and a half years or five years.

What are the supporting documents?

As well as completing the application form, you will also need to submit documentation to evidence your eligibility in relation to nationality, residence, maintenance, relationship to your dependants:

  • Valid passport or other travel document to confirm your identity
  • Mortgage statements or tenancy agreement
  • Utility bills
  • A letter from your employer, on company letterhead, confirming your address and employment
  • Immigration document such as a residence permit
  • Proof of funds such as bank or savings account statements, proof of income if self-employed, payslips
  • TB Certificate

You may also need to provide a TB test certificate (from an approved test centre and no more than 6 months old) if you have been living in Hong Kong or another country where you have to take a TB test for the past 6 months, or you did not provide a TB test certificate when you came to the UK.

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From BNO visa to indefinite leave to remain & British citizenship

After 5 years in the UK under the Hong Kong BNO visa, holders become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. The ILR application requires applicants to show continuous residence in the UK during the qualifying 5-year period. This means having absences from the country of no more than 180 days in any 12-month period during the 5 years.

With ILR, you are no longer subject to immigration control and can remain in the UK indefinitely. Should you be absent from the UK for more than 2 years, your ILR status will likely expire.

With 12 months ILR status, you may then become eligible to register as a British citizen under s4 of the British Nationality Act 1981. Non-BNO family members, however, are expected to have to naturalise as a British citizen, a different process to registration.

Our Top Hong Kong BN (O) Visa FAQ’S

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