UK Government proposes Citizenship plans for Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas)

There are different types of British nationality; British citizenship, British Overseas Territories citizen, British Overseas citizen, British subject, British Protected Person and British National (Overseas). Last week, the UK’s foreign secretary has announced proposals for an easier path to citizenship for British Nationals (Overseas) (“BNO”) in response to escalating tensions with China over the treatment of the people on Hong Kong. Our Immigration Solicitors in London specialise in applications for British citizenship under the British Nationality Act 1981 and our citizenship team are happy to arrange a consultation to discuss the Applicant’s eligibility for nationality. The UK’s immigration rules and acts of parliament can be complex to understand, therefore it is advised Applicant’s seek legal advice before submitting an application.

What does British National Overseas mean?

Before 1 July 1997, someone who was a British Overseas Territories citizen with links to Hong Kong was able to register as a British National (Overseas. 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. It is not possible for new Applicants to apply to become a British National (Overseas). Approximately 315,000 people currently hold valid British National (Overseas) passport.

What is the latest Government proposal for British Nationals (Overseas)?

Last week, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab promised to extend visa rights for British National (Overseas) passport holders and proposes a simpler path to British citizenship unless Beijing rows back from plans to impose national security laws on Hong Kong. Under the proposals, British Nationals (Overseas) will be able to have their 6 months temporary leave in the UK extended to 12 months in order to provide “provide a pathway to future citizenship”.

Can a UK national overseas work in the UK?

British National (Overseas) passports allow holders to have a British passport and get consular assistance and protection from UK diplomatic posts. However, they are only allowed in the UK up to 6 months at a time and are subject to immigration controls. Therefore, they do not have the automatic right to live or work in the UK.

Can BNO apply British citizenship?

Yes, it is possible for British Nationals (Overseas) to register as a British citizen if they can meet certain requirements. The law covering registration is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981 and the British Overseas Territories Act 2002. Successful Applicants must either:

  • meet the 5-year residence requirements including not having excessive absences from the UK; or
  • have at any time been in the Crown or similar services; or
  • meet the alternative requirements for British Overseas Territories citizens.

All Applicants for British citizenship must also satisfy the Good Character requirement in order for the application to be successful.

How can our Immigration Solicitors in London can help with a British citizenship application?

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise British citizenship applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful citizenship applications for all types of migrants under different visa categories. This includes both business and family reunification migrants under the Immigration Rules and EU nationals and their family members under the EEA Regulations and EU Settlement Scheme. The key to submitting a successful application for British citizenship is meeting all of the applicable legal requirements under the British Nationality Act 1981 and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the entire application process from the very first meeting. We ensure all of the requirements can be met and once instructed we will prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the citizenship application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also conduct substantial reviews of the application and documents to ensure that everything that is submitted meets the Home Office criteria. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application and arranging the citizenship ceremony once nationality has been granted.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit an application as a British National (Overseas)

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an application as a British National (Overseas).

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Naturalisation Application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Naturalisation Application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful applications from British Nationals (Overseas) with our Immigration Solicitors in London

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Naturalisation Application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK Visas and Immigration application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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