Following the announcement of national security law in Hong Kong, a new visa route was launched called the British National Overseas BNO. There are eligibility, suitability and validity requirements that applicants must meet to apply for this immigration route. A detailed information on the requirements and application process is provided below.
What is British National Overseas (BNO)?
On 31 January 2021, the UK opened a Hong Kong British National Overseas BNO that is only available to British Nationals Overseas and their immediate family members. Eligible applicants can apply from outside or inside the UK.
The BNO visa allows individuals to live, study and work in the UK.
Who is eligible?
You can apply for a BNO visa if you are:
a British National Overseas who’s permanent home is in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Hong Kong.
18 years old or older
If you meet the above-mentioned criteria, your family members can also apply for a BNO visa as your ‘dependants’ provided the applicants can show that they are living together and show proof of relationship. You and your family members must apply together.
A dependant family member can include your:
Spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner provided both sides can prove that you are in a subsisting relationship and have been living together for at least 2 years
Child/stepchild or grandchild under 18 years. Children under 18 years will need to apply with both of their parents unless one parent or grandparent has sole responsibility for them. Additional documentation will be required to prove that only one adult is the sole carer of the child
Child 18 years of age or older, born on or after 1 July 1997 (and their parent or child under 18 years of age)
Adult dependent relatives. This includes parents, grandparents, siblings or children 18 years of age or older, provided you are living together, they are not independent and require your assistance and care. The adult dependent relative must be highly dependent on the main BNO applicant due to their age, medical condition or disability. Sufficient evidence is required to prove that the adult relative will not be provided with the same day-to-day help, care and support in Hong Kong if the main applicant moved to the UK because it is not available or affordable. If the adult relative is your child or sibling, they must live with the main applicant when making the application. Parents and grandparents do not need to live in the same household. If parents and grandparents are living as couples, they must apply together to come to the UK.
How to apply?
Applications made outside the UK where your permanent home is Hong Kong.
Applications made outside the UK must be submitted online.
Before applying for British National (Overseas), you must make sure you’ve checked you are eligible for this visa route and collated your supporting evidence and documentation to apply. You might want to speak with one of our experienced immigration advisors who will advise you on the merits of your application.
Each family member needs to make their own separate application. Your family members must apply at the same time as you. The main applicant needs to submit their application first. Once this is done, your family members should apply within 24 hours. After submission, the main applicant will be provided with a unique reference number called Global Web Form (GWF). The family members will need to state the main applicant’s reference number in their visa application.
You will be required to upload your supporting documentation online with your visa application and you are also advised to bring all supporting documents (originals and copies) to your biometrics appointment.
Once the application is submitted online, you will be redirected to a partner website called VFS.global where you will be required to book your biometrics appointment at a visa application centre. Your biometrics information includes your fingerprints and photographs.
A decision on your visa application will be made within 12 weeks from the date of your biometrics appointment. You will get a letter stating the outcome of your application. The letter will cover what you need to do next. Once your visa application is successful, you will be issued with an entry clearance vignette valid for 90 days and you must travel to the UK within the validity of your entry clearance. The decision letter will also provide information about your biometric residence permit (BRP) collection point.
Applications made within the UK
Applications made within the UK must be submitted online.
If you’ve met the eligibility requirements for this visa route, you can switch to British National (Overseas) if you are already present in the UK on a different UK visa and you can apply by 31 March 2021.
After you submit your online visa application and upload your supporting documentation, you will need to book your biometrics appointment at UKVCAS service point. You are advised to bring all supporting documentation (originals and copies) to your biometrics appointment.
Applicants are not advised to travel outside the UK until a decision is made on their pending application.
A decision on your visa application will be made within 12 weeks from the date of your biometrics appointment.
Once your visa application is successful, you will be provided with a letter confirming the details of your biometric residence permit (BRP) collection point.
The BBC has covered this in their article here
To know more about how to go about applying or if you have any questions regarding your application why not ask for a free call back with registered immigration adviser. Simply click the button below or fill up the form.
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