From the 31st January 2021, the UK government has opened a new visa route. This visa route allows Hong Kong residents who have British National (Overseas) passports and their eligible dependants to live and work in the UK and eventually obtain full British citizenship.
This immigration route is nowhere as stringent as most other immigration categories as the applicants are not required to satisfy a set minimum financial requirement or take an English test.
The main requirements are as follows:
- The main applicant must be a British National (Overseas) citizen
- The main applicant must normally live in Hong Kong, the UK, Channel Islands,or Isle of Man.
- The main applicant and dependants must be able to show they are able to financially maintain and accommodate themselves in the UK for at least 6 months.
- The main applicant and their dependants must obtain a TB test certificate from an approved clinic if they are applying from overseas or if they have been in the UK with a visa which is valid for less than 6 months.
Length of the visa
An application can be made for an initial period of 30 months, extendable by a further 30 months, or as a single application for the full 5 years. After 5 years in the UK, visa holders can become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Key features of the visa
- There will be no skills or minimum income requirements applicable to this route.
- Applicants will not need to have found a job to be eligible – they can look for work once in the UK.
- Visa holders will not need to seek additional permission to work or study in the UK.
- Visa holders will be able to access the NHS, having paid the Immigration Health Surcharge.
- Applications can be made from within the UK or outside the country.
Unlike the PBS visa category, the BNO visa does not have a stringent maintenance and financial requirement. Applicants and their dependants must prove that they can accommodate and financially support themselves in the UK for 6 months. You can meet this requirement either through savings, income, or assistance from family.
The BN(O) visa application fee is £180 for a 2-and-a-half-year visa, or £250 for a 5-year visa. Most applicants 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 £624 per applicant per year, with a reducedrate for children.For a 5-year visa the IHS fees is £3,120 or £1,560 for 2.5 years.
Get assistance with your application – Contact the best UK lawyers
Mulgrave Law are Specialist Immigration Lawyers and can assist in obtaining a BNO visa by providing the following services:
- Provide free initial advice
- Advise on documents required
- Review of documents to ensure they fulfil the Home Office requirements
- Submitting the online application form
- Uploading documents and booking a biometric appointment if required.
Mulgrave Law is based in London serving clients across the globe, with decades of combined experience dealing with difficult immigration cases.
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