Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa
What is a Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa?
This visa is also called the 'Hong Kong BN(O) visa' or 'BNO visa'. The BNO visa will be open for applications from 31 January 2021. Any British National (Overseas) citizen and his/her close family members who are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or in the UK, can apply for this visa.
There are two routes under this category:
BN(O) Status Holder route
BN(O) Household Member route
Who can apply under the BN(O) Status Holder route?
Any British National(Overseas)(“BNO”) citizen who is 18 years of age or over and who is ordinarily resident either in Hong Kong or in the UK can apply for the BN(O) Status Holder route.
Who can apply under the BN(O) Household Member route
The following family members of the BNO citizen who are part of the same household as the BNO citizen:
Dependant Partner (includes, Unmarried Partner, Spouse, Civil Partner)
Dependant Child (under 18 years of age)
Adult Child(18 years age or over) born on or after 1 July 1997
Other family members, who are highly dependent on the British National(Overseas) citizen (please note that Dependency can be Financial or Emotional or Medical or someone needing long term care such as elderly parent or any special needs child over 18 years of age, etc.)
What are the relationship requirements to apply for the BN(O) Household Member route as a Spouse or Unmarried Partner or Civil Partner of the BNO Visa holder?
You should meet the following relationship requirement:
For Spouse/Civil Partners - You both should be married or should have registered as Civil Partners
For Unmarried Partners - You both should have been living together for at least a period of two years before the date of the application
Any previous relationships should have been permanently broken down, you will have to provide Divorce certificates to prove that any previous marriages have been dissolved
You should form part of the same household as the BNO Status Holder on the date of the application, you can prove this by showing evidence that you normally live together
You must intend to live together throughout your stay in the UK
Who is exempt from meeting the relationship requirement to apply as a Spouse or Unmarried Partner or Civil Partner of the BNO Visa holder?
If you are currently in the UK as a dependant partner visa of the BNO Status Holder applicant, then you will be not be required to meet the relationship requirement,
What are the relationship requirements to apply for the BN(O) Household Member route as a Child of the BNO Visa holder?
The child should be under 18 years of age on the date of application. The child should apply at the same time as the main BNO visa applicant. The main BNO visa applicant can be the parent or the grandparent of the Child and the Child should be part of the same household as the main BNO visa applicant, you can prove this by showing evidence that you normally live together.
Both of the child’s parents must be either applying at the same time as the Child or they must have visa/leave to be in the UK(other than a visitor visa), unless:
The parent with the BNO visa or BNO partner visa is the sole surviving parent; or
The parent with the BNO visa or BNO partner visa has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing and takes the major decisions of the child’s life such as which school the child should attend, whether or not to give any medication to the child, which religious faith the child should follow, etc.
There are serious and compelling reasons for the child to stay with the the BNO visa holder or BNO partner visa holder
What are the relation requirements to apply for the BN(O) Household Member route?
as any other Household member of the BNO visa holder, other than their partner or child under 18 years of age?
You should be have been born on or after 1 July 1997
You should be 18 years of age or over
You should not have your last UK visa/leave as a BNO Adult Dependant Relative on the main BNO visa holder
You must be the child of the main BNO visa applicant, who is applying together and You must form part of the same household as the main BNO visa applicant, you can prove this by showing evidence that you normally live together.
What are my rights and duties whilst living in the UK on a BNO visa?
You will have full rights to work in the UK or start a business or company in the UK. You may also study in the UK. You may also just live in the UK without doing anything. You cannot take any social benefits(public funds).
Do I need a valid British National(Overseas) passport to apply for the BNO visa?
You don’t need to have a valid British National(Overseas) passport if it is expired or lost. If you have one, then make sure you submit it.
What is the maintenance or savings or financial requirement for the BNO Visa?
There is no minimum savings or income required. The main BNO visa applicant should be able to prove that they can adequately maintain and accommodate themselves and any family members for at least 6 months. You can submit third party support letters with evidence of the third party’s income or savings.
Who is exempt from meeting the maintenance requirement?
If the applicant is living in the UK legally(not in breach of UK Immigration Laws) in the last 12 months, then he/she is exempt from meeting the financial requirement. This applies to both the Main Status Holder and their family members (applying under the BN(O) Household Member route). If you are exempt from meeting the maintenance requirement, then you will have to provide evidence that you meet the accommodation requirement.
What is the accommodation requirement for the BNO Visa?
The BNO Status holder and their family members (applying under the BN(O) Household Member route) should be able to provide proof of accommodation to show that it is not overcrowded or that it does not contravene the UK public health regulations
How soon before my proposed trip to the UK, can I apply for a BNO visa?
You can apply within 3 months of your planned date to come to the UK, i.e. if you plan to come to the UK on 1st May, then you can apply the earliest on 2nd February. However, please note that you should instruct us at least 2 to 4 weeks before the date you wish to apply to allow us sufficient time to review all your supporting documents, advise you, prepare your application and submit it. The date of application is the date on which we submit the online application form.
Can I apply for the BNO Visa, if I am living in the UK in another category of visa?
Yes, you can apply for the BNO visa if you are in the UK on any visa such as Student Visa, Spouse/Partner Visa, Work Visa, Family Member of an European national, Leave outside the rules, Visitor entry, etc. You cannot apply for the BNO visa from within the UK if you are in breach of the UK Immigration laws.
Do I need a Tuberculosis(TB) test to apply for a BNO visa?
If you are applying from within the UK, then:
If your last visa/leave was given for more than 6 months, then you don’t need a TB test
If you had provided a TB test certificate as part of a successful application for entry clearance(outside UK application) in the 12 months before the date of the BNO visa application, then you don’t need a TB test
If your last visa/leave was granted for less than 6 months and you were present in any of the countries listed in Appendix T for more than six months immediately before the last visa/leave being granted, then you would need to take a TB test, the certificate should be dated within 6 months from the date of your BNO visa application
see Appendix T at the following link: Immigration Rules Appendix T: tuberculosis screening - Immigration Rules - Guidance
If you are applying from outside the UK, then:
please check at the below link if you are required to give the TB Test: https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa
Where are the TB test centres in Hong Kong?
See addresses of the TB test centres in Hong Kong at: UK: tuberculosis test clinics for Hong Kong BN(O)
Can I switch or change to another type of visa while I am in the UK on the BNO Visa?
Yes, you can switch to any other category of visa from within the UK while you are on the BNO visa
How long is the BNO Visa given for? or What is the duration / validity of the BNO Visa?
The BNO visa can be applied for either 30 months or 5 years. If you apply for a 30 months visa, then at the end of the 30 months visa(within the last 28 days), you will have to apply for a visa extension if you wish to continue living in the UK and wish to apply for Settlement after 5 years.
What are the fees for the BNO Visa?
Please note that for the applications filed from outside the UK(preferably from Hong Kong), all the above fees are payable in the equivalent local currency, so for an application filed in Hong Kong, the fees would be payable in Hong Kong Dollar, the foreign exchange rate at the below website will be used for the currency conversion - https://www1.oanda.com/currency/converter/
Can I and my family members qualify for Permanent Residence or Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK by being on the BNO Visa?
Yes, you and your family members can apply for Indefinite Leave to remain(Settlement) in the UK after living in the UK for 5 years on the BNO Visa
While applying for the BNO visa from outside the UK (preferably from Hong Kong), which travel/identity document can I use?
You can use any of the following:
Valid British National (Overseas) Passport
Valid Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passport
Any other Travel Document