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FAQs: BNO visa 常見問題

Prepared by immigration advisors from Citizen Advice West and North Kent.

由 Citizen Advice West 和 North Kent 的移民顧問編寫


Points to note


Below are some scenarios based on FAQs and some indications of points to consider. Please

remember, every case is different and it is not possible to give advice without knowing the

details of a particular person’s circumstances. What follows should be treated with caution

and is for guidance only.


Also, please note that Home Office rules and guidance can change at very short notice. It is

therefore important to also check the Home Office web links at the point of making any

applications or requiring assistance.


This document has been updated March 2023.


  1. Applying and travelling together or independently

On the BN(O) Household Member route, an adult child of a BN(O) status holder can now

apply independently of their BN(O) status holder parents. Apart from adult children, the

Guidance (at page 34) states that the expectation is that, on the BN(O) Status Holder route, the BN(O) Status Holder and relevant family members will apply together. A grandchild or an Adult Dependent Relative must apply at the same time as the main applicant but dependent partners and dependent children aged under 18 can apply later. . As with the BN(O) Status Holder route, an Adult Dependent Relative of an adult child of a BN(O) status holder must apply at the same time as the main applicant, but dependent partners and dependent children under 18 can apply later.


On either route, once a BN(O) visa has been granted, there is no requirement for the whole family to travel together. The Rules state that “Applicants must travel to the UK within 90 days if they went to a visa application centre to prove their identity, or before their permission (either 30 months or 5 years) expires if they used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ smartphone app to prove their identity.


The longer you wait before you travel, the sooner after arrival in the UK you will have to apply for an extension. Your visa is active from when it is granted, not from your arrival in the UK.


We have been asked about a scenario which relates to a family where both parents hold a BN(O) passport. They have two or more children and they would like to move to the UK in stages – first one parent with a child, and then later on the second parent and remaining children will follow. In this case, the family can choose whether to apply separately or together. Each parent can apply for a BN(O) visa naming the child or children who will be accompanying them as dependents. In this case, each parent can apply for their visa, and move to the UK, when they choose. If the family applies for visas together, they may also choose to travel to the UK separately. These options may result in some family members becoming eligible for settlement before the others.


Please note that there is also no requirement for travel to be direct from Hong Kong, so it

would be possible to stop off in another country on the way.



2. Applying with children

If an application relates to a dependent child, both of the applicant’s parents must apply at the same time or have permission to be in the UK other than as a visitor. The requirement to have permission to be in the UK does not apply to a parent who is a British citizen or is settled in the UK, although that person must be, or intend to become, ordinarily residence in the UK. There are exceptions as follows:

  • one parent is deceased

  • one parent has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing

  • there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child permission to enter or remain.

  • This is discussed on pages 32 and 37 of the Guidance.


3. Applying for settlement

The general rule is that a person can apply for settlement once they have completed five years of continuous residence on a route to settlement, of which the most recent grant of permission must have been on the Hong Kong BN(O) route. The definition of “Continuous Residence” is complicated and has its own Guidance document – linked above in Source Materials no.5.


Please note that residence is not linked to the date of issue of a BRP. It relates to physical presence in the UK. Evidence of this might be a tenancy agreement, employment contract, bank statements or utility bills. If you don’t have any of these things, you will need to consider what evidence you could provide, according your circumstances. You might also have stamps in your passport (although this is increasingly unlikely) but you should expect that the Home Office will have a record of your trips in and out of the UK and you should keep such a record yourself.


We have been asked about whether time spent in the UK as a student on a Tier 4 visa would count towards the five year period for settlement – this is not the case, because Tier 4 is not a route to settlement. Likewise, time spent as a visitor would not count.


Another scenario we have been asked about relates to families who want to stagger their moving times – in this situation the parents and two minor children have applied for and been granted BN(O) visas but one parent is not able to move to the UK at this time, or has to move later than the rest of the family. The question is whether the other family members have to wait until the second parent has completed 5 continuous years of residency before they can apply for indefinite leave to remain. Assume for the sake of argument that one child is ten years old and another is 15 years old.


This is dealt with by the guidance at pages 51-52. In relation to the younger child, they will still be a child when they have been living in the UK for 5 years. The guidance in this situation says:


“This section tells you about the relationship and care requirements for a dependent child on both the BN(O) Status Holder route and the BN(O) Household Member route. These must be met where the applicant is under the age of 18 on the date of application.

The applicant must have last been granted permission as a dependent child on the the BN(O) Status Holder route or the BN(O) Household Member route.


At least one parent of the applicant must be being granted settlement on the Hong Kong BN(O) route at the same time as their child or grandchild, or be settled, or a British citizen. Their other parent must be being granted settlement at the same time, be a British citizen, or be settled, unless one of the following exceptions apply:

  • one parent is deceased

  • one parent has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing

  • there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child settlement


In practice, this means that the younger child would have to wait until both parents are in

a position to apply for settlement before she or he can apply for settlement (unless the

other parent is already a British citizen or is settled or the other reasons stated above

apply).


This is also covered at page 43 of the guidance:


“Additionally, for a grant of settlement on the Hong Kong BN(O) route, a BN(O) Household Child or the child of a BN(O) Household Member must be being granted at the same time as their parent, and/or their other parent who is already settled or a British citizen. A BN(O) Adult Dependent Relative who is on the BN(O) Status Holder route or the BN(O) Household Member route must also be applying for settlement at the same time as the main applicant or the partner of the main applicant, or who is already settled or a British citizen. If the BN(O) status holder and [these dependents] travelled to the UK separately, the continuous residence requirement for settlement may mean that these dependants may have to apply for further permission to stay beyond 5 years if the main applicant has not yet fulfilled the continuous residence requirement.”


In relation to the older child, they will have turned 18 by the time they have been in the UK

for 5 years, and the guidance (at p52) states the following:

“A child who has turned 18 since they successfully applied for entry clearance or permission to stay should apply as a BN(O) Household Member at settlement. As with other adult children, they will not need to demonstrate that they continue to meet a relationship requirement.”


A further related question is when the period to be counted starts. As a person needs to have spent no more than 450 days outside the UK in the five years preceding the application (for settlement) and no more than 90 days outside the UK in the preceding 12 months, the questioner asked whether the period could be counted from 90 days before the date of first entry.


The answer to this is that the period is counted from the date of first entry, so you cannot count any part of the 90 days beforehand. If you enter the UK 90 days after the date of issue of your visa, you will need to apply for an extension before you are able to apply for settlement (see below).



4. Extensions

We have received a number of questions related to extensions and the details of how and when to apply for an extension. The Rules and the Guidance are currently silent on extensions, except that it is implicit from the Guidance that extensions are envisaged. Our advice in relation to this is given on the assumption that the usual provisions of the Immigration Rules relating to extending limited leave to remain will apply in relation to an application for further leave to remain on the BN(O) route.


With this in mind, if a person has applied for and been granted 30 months leave to remain, what are the factors to consider in relation when to apply for an extension?


First, the most important thing is to apply to extend your leave to remain before the expiry of your current visa. If you allow the visa to expire before you apply to renew, you may lose your right to live and work in the UK and jeopardise any future applications you might wish to make.


However, it is also important not to apply to renew too soon. If your application is granted, the new visa will start from the date of the decision, not the date of expiry of your first visa. The rules say that when you apply to extend a visa before the expiry of your current visa, a period of up to 28 days can be added to the new visa. The effect of this is that if you apply before the 28 day period, you will lose the benefit of the first 30 month period (because you can only get a maximum of 28 extra days added to the new visa). This could mean that at the end of expiry of your second visa, you have still not reached the 5 year period for settlement and you have to apply for another extension.


If you make a valid application to extend your visa before the expiry date of the first visa, your immigration status remains unchanged until that application is decided – this is because of s3C of the Immigration Act 1971. This would mean that your rights (for example, your right to work, and your right to rent) continue even though your visa may have expired.


On a related issue, we have been asked about applying for an extension if, at the end of a five year period, a person has not completed 5 years continuous residence for the purposes of applying for settlement.


As discussed above, Appendix BN(O) does not address extensions, but there appears to be an assumption that extensions will be permitted. The definition of “Continuous Residence” is complicated and has its own Guidance document – linked above in Source Materials no.5. It would be advisable to understand at the outset how this might affect you so that you might be able to take steps to ensure that you do not have a problem with it.



5. Students

We have also received a number of queries about students. For example, if a young person has a BN(O) visa as part of a family application, can they move to the UK to start a university course before the rest of the family? Will they need a student visa? Would they be eligible for home fees?


A person with a BN(O) visa is entitled to study in the UK, subject to ATAS conditions. They don’t need a student visa and they can travel independently of the rest of the family (see under 1 above). A person with limited leave to remain (including under a BN(O) visa) is not entitled to pay home fees or to access student finance. Once a person has been granted settlement, they would be entitled to pay home fees and to access student finance. It is possible that a bursary might be available in cases of hardship – the student would need to ask their university about this.


We have also been asked about people who already have a student visa (and have paid the

immigration healthcare surcharge) but are now being included in an application for a BN(O) visa. Do they need to pay the IHS again?


The answer to this is that they will need to pay the IHS required for the BN(O) visa application. They can then apply for a refund of the unused portion of the IHS associated with their student visa. The link above in Source Materials no.4 includes information about how to do this. It is possible to get a refund, but it may take some time.



6. Public Funds

We have also been asked about Public Funds. It is a condition of the BN(O) route that a person will not be eligible to apply for Public Funds. We have linked the detailed Guidance document relating to Public Funds above. It includes most social security benefits (but not contributory benefits). It does not include compulsory school age education, and it also does not include schemes such as shared ownership, although these might have other eligibility criteria (for example, they might require a local connection).


Please note that, although a BN(O) visa will have a restriction against applying for Public Funds, it may be possible to apply for a change in conditions at a later date if your financial circumstances change significantly so that you are at risk of destitution. This link gives some more information about this, and please note that Citizens Advice is able to give detailed advice and help with making an application for a change in conditions.





7. Student Finance

We have been asked a number of questions about student finance. As a general point, a person will only be eligible for student finance (which means a loan towards fees and/or maintenance) if they are settled in the UK. In addition, a maintenance loan is means tested, taking into account the income of the student’s household. We have added a link to some general information about student finance to the Source Materials no. 9 at the start of this document.


Student finance is not a Public Fund for the purposes of the Immigration Rules – the list of benefits which are considered to be Public Funds is set out in the Guidance discussed in Question 6. However, the rules relating to eligibility for student finance mean that a holder of a HK BN(O) visa would not be eligible for student finance, and in addition would be required to pay fees applicable to international students.


We have also been asked some more specific questions about particular types of support for

students, in particular, whether a person on a HK BN(O) visa could be eligible for a teacher training bursary and/or whether that would be considered a Public Fund.

As with student finance in general, this type of bursary is not a Public Fund for the purposes of the Immigration Rules – the list of benefits which are considered to be Public Funds is set out in the Guidance discussed in Question 6. However, it is still unlikely that a holder of a HK BN(O) visa would be eligible for such a bursary.


The current version of the Initial Teacher Training Bursaries Funding Manual (2022-2023) is here:



This states that, to be eligible to receive a bursary, a person must be eligible to receive student support. The section entitled “Eligibility for student support” states as follows:


“Eligibility for UK student support

To receive a training bursary the trainee must meet one or more of the definitions for being an ‘eligible’ student to receive grants and loans towards tuition fees or living costs as set out in the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011, part 2 (eligibility).”


The upshot of this is that only people covered by the list set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 will be eligible for student support (and therefore for ITT bursaries). In most cases, a person needs to be settled in the UK, so a holder of a HK BN(O) visa would not be eligible for a bursary until they had met the criteria for settlement and successfully applied for settlement.


Please note that there are a number of other detailed criteria for receipt of a bursary, which

are set out in the Guidance linked above.




8. Subsequent partners

If a person who is resident in the UK on a BN(O) visa gets married or enters into a civil partnership, can their partner get a visa to join them in the UK?


Spouses and civil partners have the same legal status for the purposes of HK BN(O) rules. A

spouse or civil partner who was not included in the BN(O) Status Holder’s application will be

granted permission which ends on the same date as the permission of the BN(O) Status Holder.


If you are not married or in a civil partnership, your partner might still be able to apply for a visa but you would have to show that you have a durable relationship. The requirements are that all the following requirements must be met:

  1. you must have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least the two years before the date of application; and

  2. any previous relationship of the applicant or the BN(O) Status Holder with another person must have permanently broken down; and

  3. you must not be so closely related that you would not be allowed to marry in the UK.


9. Dependent parents

It is possible for an Adult Dependent Relative to be included in an application for a BN(O) visa if the following conditions are met (Rule 49.2):


a) as a result of age, illness or disability require long-term personal care to perform everyday

tasks; and

b) form part of the same household as the BN(O) Status Holder who has, or is at the same

time being granted, permission; and

c) be unable, even with the practical and financial help of the BN(O) Status Holder or the

partner of the BN(O) Status Holder, to obtain the required level of help in Hong Kong, if

the BN(O) Status Holder or the partner of the BN(O) Status Holder move to the UK, either

because the help:

  1. is not available, and there is no person in Hong Kong who can reasonably provide it; or

  2. is not affordable.


For a successful application, it will be important to provide as much evidence as possible. The HK BN(O) Guidance is not especially helpful in this regard, but it does refer to the general guidance on Adult Dependent Relatives (which applies for other immigration routes). We have added a link to this guidance to the Source Materials no.10 at the start of this document. The main aspects of the evidence required are as follows:


  1. Evidence of family relationship, for example to show that the dependent adult is your parent/grandparent/other relation. If you are their only family, then you should include a statement to this effect.

  2. Evidence of the type of care they need – this should be medical evidence, ideally from their doctor.

  3. Evidence as to why the care can no longer be provided in Hong Kong – this is likely to be the most difficult aspect and will require a careful consideration of the individual circumstances.

  4. Evidence as to how the dependent adult will be accommodated and cared for in the UK, without recourse to public funds.


The Adult Dependent Relative guidance also contains some helpful example scenarios.


Please note that if the elderly person is a HK BN(O) passport holder in their own right, the

question of their dependency is not relevant.



10.The path to settlement and citizenship

Once you arrive in the UK, here are some things to bear in mind to help in the transition to

settlement and (if desired) citizenship:

  • Consider the Life in the UK test and the English language test: The Life in the UK test does not expire. Check the applicable English language requirements nearer the time.

  • Continuous residence: Check the guidance to make sure you meet the continuous residence test for your next application. Keep evidence of residence: copies of passports entry/exit stamps, utility bills, council tax bills, HMRC and tax documents, health related documents etc.

  • You can continue to work and exercise other rights in this period. Continue to meet suitability criteria.

  • Continue to meet the financial requirements and do not apply for public funds unless specifically allowed to. If you need public funds, seek advice on how to access it.

  • If you have a child in the UK please make a BN(O) visa application in line with yours. If the child does not have a passport please rely on a full birth certificate.

  • If you are in a post arrival relationship and your partner is not from the UK please consider including them in a future application and retain evidence of your relationship.

  • Monitor changes in immigration rules

  • After 5 years of continuous residence (refer to the guidance document) you can apply for settlement.

  • After one further year, you may be able to apply for citizenship, so long as you meet all the criteria.



11. Ordinary residence in another country

We have been asked whether a person who has been living in another country can apply for a BN(O) visa. For example, a person who has been living in the Americas/Australia for a number of years?


This is covered by HK 5.1 and HK 5.2 of Appendix BN(O):

HK 5.1. An applicant applying for entry clearance must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the date of application.


HK 5.2. An applicant applying for permission to stay must be in the UK, and must be ordinarily resident in the UK, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, the Isle of Man or Hong Kong on the date of application.


This means that a person who is ordinarily resident somewhere else will not be eligible to apply for a BN(O) visa. However, the person might be eligible to come to the UK on a different route, depending on their circumstances.


We have also been asked whether a person who has a US Green Card (so has a right to reside in the US) or another citizenship can apply for a HK BN(O) visa. The fact of having a Green Card or another citizenship is not directly relevant – it is only necessary to demonstrate that you have in fact been ordinarily resident in Hong Kong to apply for entry clearance. For example, you could show evidence of employment, tenancy agreement, pension/social security contributions etc.


11. Tax questions

A number of questions relate to tax issues. We are not qualified to give advice about tax, nor

financial advice in general. We recommend that if you are worried about this, you should speak to a qualified financial adviser or tax lawyer, and ideally someone who has experience of dealing with clients from Hong Kong.


To find a solicitor, you can use the Law Society website:



So far as we know, there is no equivalent for tax advisers who are not solicitors but you may be able to follow up recommendations from friends or other contacts in the community.




12. Renewing a vignette

We have had further questions about what happens if a person applies for a BN(O) visa and gets a vignette in their passport which is valid for travel for 90 days but the person is not able to travel within the 90 day period. If this is the case they will need to apply to renew the vignette.


This is dealt with on page 44 of the Guidance:


“Biometric information for entry clearance


Successful applicants for entry clearance are given either a digital status or a vignette in their

passport. If the entry clearance application is successful, you must issue a 90-day entry clearance vignette to allow them to collect their biometric residence permit (BRP) after they have arrived in the UK. If the vignette has expired, an applicant may apply for a replacement vignette.


Applicants collecting a BRP may choose to collect it from a different Post Office branch, but they will need to arrange this at the branch and pay a fee. For further information, see the BRP guidance on GOV.UK. BRPs may show an expiry date of 31 December 2024, even if the applicant has permission beyond that date. Further guidance will be issued in 2024 on how to update the BRP. Applicants do not need to contact the Home Office if their BRP shows an expiry date of 31 December 2024.”


The information about replacing a vignette is here:


“If your 90 day visa vignette to work or join family has expired


If your 90 day vignette has expired, you will need to apply for a replacement by completing

the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90 day vignette is £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information.


We strongly advise that you only apply for a new visa, or apply to replace an expired vignette, when you are confident you can travel to the UK. The new vignette will be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you may need to apply again to update your vignette.


If you have submitted an application for a replacement vignette, and are still awaiting a decision, but now no longer intend to travel, you should submit a withdrawal request at the Visa Application Centre that you applied from in order for your passport to be released back to you.”


Please note that replacing an expired vignette is not the same process as applying to extend

an expired visa. You can apply to replace an expired vignette after it has expired (subject to

following the procedure, paying the fee, resubmitting your biometric information etc). The expiry date of your visa will remain unchanged. When it comes to renewing your visa, you must make the application before the expiry date of your current visa.




13. Delays in issuing BRPs

We have had a number of questions which arise from the issue that (we are told) there is currently some delay in the issue of BRPs. A number of people have asked whether they need to collect their BRP before returning to Hong Kong, when they only intend to remain for a short time on their first trip. People have also asked about the status of QR codes which show a person’s immigration status.


Until recently, anyone granted entry clearance for a period of more than 6 months (across all

immigration routes) would have been issued with a BRP. However, the Home Office now states that BRPs will not be issued to people who have used the UK Immigration: ID Check app to prove their identity when making a visa application. In practice, this applies to many applicants for HK BN(O) visas. In practical terms, this means that, if you have a vignette in your passport, you will need to collect a BRP on arrival in the UK, but if you have used the app you will not be issued with a BRP.


We have added a link to general information about BRPs, and about the online system, to the Source Materials (no. 11) at the beginning of this document.


For people with a vignette, we believe that you will need to collect the BRP before returning to Hong Kong, otherwise you may encounter difficulty when you attempt to re-enter the UK. This is particularly the case if your vignette will have expired before your intended re-entry.


For people who have used the app, and therefore will not be issued with a BRP, you will need to rely on the online system for proving your immigration status in the UK. This system has been used for some time in relation to employment, where an employer can rely on a share code generated online which proves that you have the right to work in the UK. Visa holders will now also need to use this system when travelling (and especially when re-entering the UK). Anecdotally, we understand that airline check in desks may not always be familiar with this system.


Please note that it is your responsibility to keep your details up to date for the online

system. For example, if you renew your passport, you will need to make sure you update

your details (you can see information about this under the link relating to the online system

in the Source Materials (no. 11).



14. Professional Sportspeople

A questioner asked for more information about the exclusion for professional sports people. This is found in HK 9.2 of Appendix BN(O) and says that work is permitted:


“except for employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)”


We can’t comment on the reasoning behind this exclusion, but there is a very detailed definition of “Professional Sportsperson” in the Immigration Rules:


““Professional Sportsperson” means a person who is one or more of the following:

(a) currently providing services as a sportsperson, or is playing or coaching in any capacity, at

a professional or semi-professional level of sport (whether paid or unpaid); or


(b) currently receiving payment, including payment in kind, for playing or coaching, and that

payment covers all, or the majority of, their costs for travelling to, and living in, the UK, or

has received such payment within the previous 4 years; or


(c) currently registered to a professional or semi-professional sports team or has been so

registered within the previous 4 years (this includes all academy and development team

age groups); or


(d) has represented their nation or national team within the previous two years, including all

youth and development age groups from under 17s upwards; or


(e) has represented their state or regional team within the previous two years, including all

youth and development age groups from under 17s upwards; or


(f) has an established international reputation in their chosen field of sport; or


(g) engages an agent or representative, with the aim of finding opportunities as a

sportsperson, and/or developing a current or future career as a sportsperson, or has

engaged such an agent in the last 12 months; or


(h) is providing services as a sportsperson or coach, unless they are doing so as an “Amateur” in a charity event; or


(i) is providing services as a sportsperson or coach, unless they are doing so as a Student who is studying a course at degree level or above at a higher education provider and playing or coaching sport as an Amateur or as part of a work placement that is undertaken as an

integral and assessed part of their course.”


Please note that “Amateur” is also defined:

““Amateur” means a person who engages in a sport or creative activity solely for personal

enjoyment and who is not seeking to derive a living from the activity.”


Whether a person falls within these definitions will be a question of fact in each case.




15. Bringing a child to the UK

A number of people have asked about whether a child can travel to the UK to attend school on a BN(O) visa, and whether the child should be accompanied by a parent. A further question is whether the accompanying parent should wait to collect their BRP before returning to Hong Kong, assuming they have a vignette and have not used the app (see paragraph 14).


It is always better for a child to be accompanied by a parent when travelling to the UK. A child travelling alone will (as a minimum) have to carry detailed written confirmation from both parents that the parents consent to travel, as well as written confirmation from the school. It will be expected that arrangements for the child’s welfare (including onward travel, even if that is straight to school) will be documented. The guidance also states that children under 18 entering the UK on a BN(O_ visa should be accompanied by one or both parents (page 29 of the Guidance):


“Travelling to the UK separately


Once they have been granted permission, applicants may choose to travel to the UK separately. Applicants must travel to the UK within 90 days if they went to a visa application centre to prove their identity, or before their permission (either 30 months or 5 years) expires if they used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ smartphone app to prove their identity. Children under 18 must travel with one or both parents, unless they are joining their parents who are already in the UK.


If this is the first trip to the UK on the BN(O) visa for the accompanying parent then it would be a very good idea to collect the BRP (assuming a BRP will be issued – please refer to paragraph 13 above) before returning to Hong Kong, as it will be needed for subsequent trips.



16. Living in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man


We were asked a couple of questions about whether a person with a HK BN(O) visa can move the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Each of these is a separate jurisdiction and each has its own particular rules, especially in relation to work permits and tax. As a general rule, a person who is entitled to live in the UK can move to one of these territories, but they may not be able to work or to buy property without meeting other criteria. We are not qualified to give advice on this, and we suggest that you should contact a suitably qualified solicitor or other adviser.



17. HK BNO who has already naturalised


We have been asked about a situation where a person who was previously a HK BN(O) passport holder has already naturalised as a British Citizen. Will such a person be able to bring their family to the UK on HK BN(O) visas, as though they themselves were still a HK BN(O) passport holder?


The Rules state that only a BN(O) Status Holder may make an application (along with dependents and household members as set out in the Rules). However, it may still be possible for family members to apply under the HK BN(O) route. The Guidance (at page21) states:


“An applicant may hold both BN(O) status and British citizenship. British citizens have the right of abode in the UK. If a BN(O) status holder who is also a British citizen makes an application, you should void their application. However, if the family members of an applicant who holds both British citizenship and BN(O) status (whose application has been voided) have also applied on the BN(O) route, you should continue to consider their application as normal and the fact the BN(O) status holder is also a British citizen will not impact their eligibility.”




18. Comparison with Skilled Worker Visa

Sometimes a person may be entitled to a HK BN(O) visa but they also have the opportunity to obtain a Skilled Worker Visa. There are some key differences between a Skilled Worker Visa and a HKBN(O) visa.


The HKBN(O) visa is significantly cheaper than a Skilled Worker Visa. A five year HKBN(O) visa costs £250 (for main applicant and dependents) whereas a Skilled Worker Visa for a similar period costs £1235 (also for main applicant and dependents). In each case the immigration healthcare surcharge will also be payable - for a family of two adults and two children this would currently be a total of £10,940 for a five year period. A Skilled Worker Visa has to be arranged through your employer and some employers may help with the fees.


The HKBN(O) visa has a much simpler application process and the eligibility requirements are straightforward. It does not depend on you being tied to a particular employer. It gives you the flexibility to work for any employer. With either of these visas, your spouse would also be entitled to work in the UK.


Both the HKBN(O) visa and the Skilled Worker Visa provide a route to settlement after 5 years of continuous residence. However, for the Skilled Worker Visa you must continue to meet the requirements of the particular visa, whereas for the HKBN(O) visa you simply have to meet the residence requirements (as well as the general suitability and good character requirements).


Your children would each be able to study in the UK as a dependent on either type of visa. They would not be entitled to student finance or home fees until they had reached settlement (that is, after at least five years).


The rules and guidance for Skilled Worker Visas are linked under Source Materials no 14.




19. Comparison with Global Talent Visa


A similar comparison can be made between a Global Talent Visa and a HKBN(O) visa as that which is set out under 18 in relation to a Skilled Worker Visa.


The HKBN(O) visa is significantly cheaper than a Global Talent Visa. A five year HKBN(O) visa costs £250 (for main applicant and dependents) whereas a Global Talent Visa will cost £623 (for main applicant and dependents). In each case the immigration healthcare surcharge will also be payable - for a family of two adults and two children this would currently be a total of £10,940 for a five year period. A Global Talent Visa has to be arranged through your employer and some employers may help with the fees.


The HKBN(O) visa has a much simpler application process and the eligibility requirements are straightforward. It does not depend on you being tied to a particular employer. It gives you the flexibility to work for any employer. With either of these visas, your spouse would also be entitled to work in the UK.


In some circumstances the Global Talent Visa provides a route to settlement for the main applicant after 3 years. However, you must continue to meet the requirements of the Global Talent Visa, whereas for the HKBN(O) visa you simply have to meet the residence requirements (as well as the general suitability and good character requirements). Under the rules for a Global Talent visa, even where the main applicant may qualify for settlement after 3 years, a partner still has to complete 5 years continuous residence to be eligible for settlement.


Your children would each be able to study in the UK as a dependent on either type of visa. They would not be entitled to student finance or home fees until they had reached settlement (that is, after at least five years).


The rules and guidance for Global Talent Visas are linked under Source Materials no 14.



20. Refunds of immigration healthcare surcharge for health and care workers


If you work in the health and care sector you might be entitled to a partial refund of the

immigration healthcare surcharge. The details of this scheme are set out here:



21. Delays in decisions

Several people have asked for help in chasing up delayed applications. We know that many people are experiencing delays at the moment, and this is true across all types of visa application, not just HK BN(O) visas.


Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to get through to the Home Office to try to find out what has happened to your application. If you cannot get through on the phone, you could write to the Home Office or use the complaints procedure which is set out here:



You should only complain if your application has taken significantly longer than the usual time period – for HK BN(O) applications the Home Office currently states a minimum time of 12 weeks.


You may find that your MP is able to help you – you can find the details of your local MP on the Parliament website, and you can then contact him or her by email. You should include your name and address (so that your MP can see that you are a constituent) and details of your application, the date you made it and the reference number.




Source materials

The key sources for information relating to the HK BN(O) visa are as follows:

  1. Summary information from the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/british-national-overseas-bno-visa

  2. The relevant part of the Immigration Rules – Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-hong-kong-british-national-overseas

  3. Guidance document:


Other useful information:

4. Information about immigration healthcare surcharge fees and refunds:


5. Definition of continuous residence and related guidance:


6. Definition of Public Funds:


7. English language and Life in the UK:


8. British nationality:


9. General information about student finance


10. Adult dependent relatives


11. Biometric residence permits

and the online system for viewing and proving your immigration status:



12. Appendix FM


and related Guidance:

13. Skilled Worker Visa and Global Talent Visa





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