The new British National (Overseas) “BNO” visa route for Hong Kong nationals is officially open. On 31 January 2021 the Home Office published guidance for the new BNO visa route which considers applications from eligible Hong Kong nationals under Appendix Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas). Our immigration solicitors in London are happy to assist Hong Kong nationals with their application for a BNO visa and can first arrange an initial consultation to discuss the new rules in more detail. Please contact our immigration team for further information about our services and booking a consultation.
What is the new BNO visa?
The BNO visa route allows Hong Kong British National (Overseas) status holders and their family member to live, study and work in the UK for up to 5 years; after which they may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) and British citizenship 12 months after. There are two routes under the new BNO visa:
- The BNO Status Holder route; and
- The BNO Household Member route.
Both routes were created to ensure that family members in the same household can move to the UK together. Applicants are able to apply for either a 30 month visa or a 5 year visa. Throughout the duration of the visa, BNO migrants will be subject to the no recourse to public funds condition; meaning they are not entitled to public benefits until they are granted indefinite leave to remain.
What is the BNO Status Holder route?
The BNO Status Holder route is for Hong Kong nationals who have British National (Overseas) status, as well as their spouses or partners and dependent children and grandchildren under the age of 18. Adult dependent relatives may also be eligible if they can prove that there is a high level of dependency on the BNO status holder or their partner.
What is the BNO Household Member route?
The BNO Household Member route is for adult children of the British National (Overseas) status holder or their partner, who was born after 1 July 1997, if they are part of the same household. The BNO Household Member’s partner, spouse or dependent children may also be eligible to apply under the BNO Household Member route.
What are the requirements for BNO visa applications?
The main requirements for the BNO Status Holder and BNO Household Member routes under Appendix Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) are as follows:
- BNO status holder requirement – under HK 4.1, the main Applicant must be able to demonstrate that they are a BNO status holder;
- Financial requirement – whilst there is no minimum income requirement, Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can adequately maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependents in the UK without recourse to public funds;
- Ordinary residence requirement (entry clearance) – Applicants must be able to demonstrate they are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the date of their application;
- Ordinary residence requirement (leave to remain) – Applicants must be able to demonstrate they are ordinarily resident in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man or Hong Kong at the date of their application;
- Tuberculosis (TB) certificate requirement (entry clearance) – Applicants will need to provide a valid TB certificate with their application if they have been residing within a country listed in Appendix T of the immigration rules for the 6 months immediately preceding the date of the application; and
- Relationship requirement – All family members who are applying with or to join the main Applicant in the UK will need to demonstrate that their relationship is genuine and subsisting. Family members must demonstrate that they ordinarily live with the main Applicant.
How much is the BNO visa?
For the 5 year BNO visa, Applicants are required to pay the £250 Home Office fee. Applicants applying to stay for 30 months will be required to pay the £180 Home Office fee.
Applicants are also required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which will give access to NHS services in the UK. The current IHS fee is £624 per year so the total for the 5 year BNO visa would be £3,120 or £1,560 for the 30 month visa. This is the same for family members. The IHS checker can be used to calculate the level of IHS payable by answering a few simple questions.
Do I have a right of appeal for BNO visa applications?
If an application for a BNO visa is refused, Applicants for both entry clearance and leave to remain can apply for the decision to be reviewed by way of Administrative Review. An Administrative Review will only be successful if the Home Office has made a case-working error in considering the application. No new evidence can be provided within an Administrative Review application.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London submit a BNO visa application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a BNO visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
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 application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully submit a BNO visa application
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 prospects of submitting a visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a BNO visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration 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. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice, and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. 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 to discuss a BNO visa application.