Living Abroad

The UK Welcomes Hong Kongers With BNO Visa

Updated: 11 July 2021

British National (overseas) visa is a new visa scheme allowing holders of BNO passports to come and live in the UK. If you and your family are BNOs, you may be eligible to apply for a BNO visa. 

Previously, BNO status holders didn’t have the right to live or work in the UK. They weren’t considered a UK national by the EU, either. Now, Hong Kong residents who are in BNO status can move to the UK with the new visa.

Who Can Apply for BNO Visa

BNO Visa applications are open to British nationals (overseas) who are 18 or older. If you’re a BNO, you can apply to stay in the UK for either two years and six months. The other option is to apply for five years. You’re eligible to extend your visa if you wish to stay longer. There’s no limit on visa renewals. 

With a BNO visa you can live, work and study in the UK. You can also access public services such as healthcare and schools.

After you complete five years of residence in the UK, you can apply for settlement, followed by citizenship after a further 12 months.

Over 5 Million Hong Kong Residents Can Be Eligible To Move to the UK

As announced by the British authorities, 2.9 million BN(O)s are estimated to be eligible to apply for BNO visa. 2.3 million BN(O) dependents are eligible, too. The government also estimates that between 123,000 and 153,700 BN(O) status holders and their dependents will apply in the first year. This number is estimated to rise to 322,400 over five years.

BNO Visa Affects Real Estate Market in the UK and Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents are expected to sell their homes to finance their moves to the UK. According to the reports, the residents might sell as much as HK$150 million worth of property in 2021. In return, Hong Kongers have started to buy homes in the UK and specifically in London. Land registry data shows that the property acquisition has doubled in 2021 compared to 2020.

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