British National (Overseas) Citizenship/Passport for Hong Kong residents - “BNO Passports”
Overview of British National (Overseas) Citizenship / Passports
About three million Hong Kong residents are eligible to apply for BNO passports and are able to come and live in the UK
On 1 July 2020, the UK Government confirmed a Bespoke UK Immigration route for BNO passport holders, to allow British National (Overseas) Passport Holders to come to the UK(if they are not already in the UK) and live in the UK. Individuals who are already in the UK in any other UK Immigration Category would also be able to take benefits from the new Immigration route and would be able to continue to live in the UK under the new Immigration route.
Who is eligible to apply for a BNO passport?
Registered as BNO Citizen by 1 July 1997 (or by the extended deadline of 31 December 1997)
You were a British Overseas Territories(BOT) Citizen and due to your connection with Hong Kong, you applied to register as a BNO Citizen before 1 July 1997
Automatically became BNO Citizen on 1 July 1997
You were a British Overseas Territories(BOT) Citizen resident in Hong Kong and for any reason you did not register as BNO Citizen before 1 July 1997; and
You did not have any other Nationality or Citizenship on 30 June 1997.
Please note that you may now have a nationality or citizenship, but for automatic acquisition of BNO Citizenship, what is important is that you did not any other Nationality or Citizenship on 30 June 1997
It is also important to note that about 2.6 million Hong Kong residents are eligible to apply for BNO passports, but only about 350000 BNO passports have been applied and issued till 1 July 2020, so there are a number of individuals who are BNO citizens but have never applied for a BNO Passport.
Do I need to have a BNO Passport to prove that I am a BNO citizen?
No, you don’t need to have a BNO Passport to prove that you are a BNO Citizen, this would be the case in paragraph 2 above, whereby you would have become a BNO Citizen automatically, hence, if this applies to you, you may be automatically holding a right to apply for a BNO Passport.
Please note that it is not necessary that you should be holding a valid or expired BNO Passport, you may be eligible for a BNO Passport, but you may never have applied for one.
What are my rights as a British National (Overseas) Passport holder to come and live in the UK?
You will have full rights to work in the UK either in Salaried employment or Self employment. You will have full rights to study in the UK. You may decide not to work or study and just come and live in the UK.
Can I bring my family members along with me to the UK to live, work and study in the UK?
ou will also be able to bring your family members, such as Partner(Spouse or Unmarried Partner or Civil Partner) and all children under 18 years of age to come and live with you in the UK, the family members can be of any nationality
What are the documents required to apply for a British National (Overseas) passport?
List of documents required to apply for British National (Overseas) Passport for Hong Kong residents
(All documents must be Originals(unless specified as copies) and must be free from any staples,clips or pins):
Digital Passport Sized Photo
(see photo requirements at https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports)
Applicant’s Original BNO Passport, even if it is expired (If the BNO passport is lost or stolen, please confirm if the passport was cancelled with the HM Passport office)
Coloured photocopy of Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card (both sides)
Coloured photocopies of all the pages(36/42 pages, including any blank pages) of applicant’s all Valid passports from any other countries
Residence Address Proof: Please provide at least one document issued in the last 12 months, we prefer to provide at least 2 documents or more, so even if any document is rejected then an alternative document can be considered. Please note that the documents should show the date of the issue, Applicant’s full name and address
Below are the examples of documents:
Employer’s letter, see below - Employment letter format for BNO Passport
Letter from your District Council or any other Government department
Voter’s ID card
Coloured photocopy of Visa or Residence Permit
Letter from School or College or University confirming your education record
Immigration or Visa documents
Applicant’s information required:
Date of birth
Applicant British National (Overseas) Passport Number
After the application is filed, you will have to ask someone to confirm your Identity, see details at https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/help/confirming-identity
Employment letter format for BNO Passport:
RE: Verification of employment for [employee name]
To whom it may concern:
Please accept this letter as confirmation that [employee name] has been employed with [employee name] since [employee start date]. Currently, [employee name]:
holds the title of [employee title]
earns a salary of [salary amount], payable [annually/monthly/weekly/daily/hourly], [and a bonus of (bonus amount)]
works on a [full-time/part-time] basis of [number of hours] per week
If you have any questions or require further information, please don't hesitate to contact me at [employer’s phone number and email].
[Employer representative name]