British National Overseas (BNO) Visa
BRITISH NATIONAL OVERSEAS (BNO) VISAS
The British National Overseas visa was created in response to a new national security law for Hong Kong, which the UK considers violates agreements made between the UK and China during the Hong Kong handover in 1997.
This new visa route recognises the United Kingdom's historical and moral commitment to BNO citizens in Hong Kong, giving them the option to live in the UK if they choose to do so.
BRITISH NATIONAL (OVERSEAS) STATUS
A British Overseas Territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong could register as a British national (overseas) before 1 July 1997.
British Overseas Territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997 became British overseas citizens on 1 July 1997.
BNOs can use a British passport and seek consular assistance and protection from most UK diplomatic posts - apart from in China, Hong Kong or Macao. However, they do not have the right of abode in the UK and are subject to UK visa requirements.
BNO VISA REQUIREMENTS
You can apply for a BNO visa if:
• You are 18 and a British National (Overseas)
• You have a permanent home in Hong Kong if you are applying from outside the UK; or
• You have a permanent home in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Hong Kong if you apply in the UK.
You must have sufficient funds for your maintenance in the UK for at least six months without recourse to public funds. If you are applying with your dependents, you must be able to support them too.
BN(O) status holder family members can apply as your 'dependants' if they usually live with you. They will need to apply for the same BN(O) visa as you, for either two years and six months or five years.
Your dependants include your:
• Spouse or civil partner
• Unmarried partner where you have been cohabiting for a minimum of 2 years at the time of the application.
• Children (under the age of 18)
• Adult children born on or after 1 July 1997, their spouse and children under 18.
• Other family members (parents, grandparents, brother, sister, son or daughter) may also apply in exceptional circumstances where there is a high level of dependency.
You will need to provide evidence of your relationship and that you usually live together when applying for you and your family members.
You will be allocated a Unique Application Number (UAN) or a Global Web Form (GWF) once you have applied for your BNO visa. You should quote this UAN when applying for your family members, so the applications are submitted together within two days. A dependant can't apply after a decision has been made about your visa.
Applying to settle in the UK
You can apply to settle permanently in the UK (known as 'indefinite leave to remain') after you have lived in the UK for five years on a BNO visa.
You can count any time you have already spent time in the UK on one of the following visas towards the five year requirement:
• Global Talent visa (or a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa)
• Investor visa
• Entrepreneur visa
• Skilled Worker visa (or a Tier 2 General work visa)
• Minister of Religion visa
• Sportsperson visa
• Representative of an Overseas Business visa
• UK Ancestry visa
• Family visa
Time spent on a Student visa (previously called a Tier 4 (General) student visa) or a Youth Mobility Scheme visa will not count.
To apply, you will also need to:
• meet the knowledge of English requirements
• pass the Life in the UK Test
• have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months in the last five years
Most immigration applications have strict factual and evidential requirements that are not necessarily straightforward to comprehend or satisfy. LS Legal Solicitors are well versed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on immigration applications. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous. However, we guarantee to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.
For the quickest response, please WhatsApp or call us on +44 (0) 75 3595 9450. You can also contact us via email at info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact form to discuss your requirements further or arrange an appointment with one of our experts.