The UK Government has introduced a new unique visa for residents of Hong Kong allowing its BN(O) citizens to come to the UK with unrestricted permission to work and study. The Hong Kong visa, which is yet to receive a formal name, will be available from 31 January 2021. Hong Kong residents can also apply to have their direct family members join them and enjoy settlement rights after 5-years as well as being able to apply for British citizenship after 6-years.
What is the Hong Kong Visa?
The UK government has designed a brand new visa for nationals of Hong Kong that allows them to enter the UK to work and study for a period of 30-months or 5 years depending on what option they select when submitting their application. This new visa has been welcomed by Hong Kong residents and is open to over 5 million Hong Kong residents.
How to apply for a Hong Kong visa?
Hong Kong residents who are British National Overseas (“BN(O))” citizens are eligible to submit an application. There is no formal requirement for applicants to hold a valid BN(O) passport but an expired passport must be submitted as an alternative. Family members such as spouses, children, and adult children born after 1 July 1997 can also apply. In exceptional circumstances, applicants may be able to apply for their parents, grandparents, and siblings where there is a high level of dependency. Where applications are submitted from outside the UK applicants must show that they normally live in Hong Kong. Applicants will also need to show that they have sufficient funds to accommodate themselves in the UK. The Home Office will be publishing detailed guidance on the residency and maintenance requirement on 31 January 2021. Applicants will also need to submit a Tuberculosis (TB) certificate if applications are being submitted from Hong Kong or any other country on the list.
It is possible to submit an application from within the UK if applicants are on a different visa route that allows them to remain in the UK for a period exceeding 6 months.
What does the Hong Kong visa allow you to do in the UK?
The new Hong Kong visa is very flexible in terms of what it has permitted for applicants to participate in once in the UK. Applicants can work for any UK employer without restrictions or they can establish their own business. Applicants can also study in the UK. Dependent children can also attend state schools free of charge. The main restriction is applicants cannot claim public funds (social welfare benefits).
How much does a Hong Visa application cost?
The Home Office visa application fee for a Hong Kong visa is £180 if you are applying for a 30-month visa or £250 if you are applying for a 5-year visa. In addition to this, applicants will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is currently set at £624 per year. Therefore, if you apply for a 30-month visa you will be required to pay an IHS fee of £1560 or £3120 if you are applying for a 5-year visa. Child applicants will pay a reduced fee (£1175 or £2350) depending on the length of their visa.
Can you apply for indefinite leave to remain on the Hong Kong visa?
The Hong Kong visa offers a route to indefinite leave to remain (settlement) in the UK once applicants have continuously lived in the UK for a period of 5 years. The Home Office has now also confirmed that leave held previously may be used towards the 5-year qualifying period i.e. time spend on a Tier 2 visa. The key is that your previous leave must offer a route to settlement. Therefore, time spent on Student visas will not be accepted or any other visa that does not lead to settlement rights.
In addition to the 5-year continuous residence requirement, applicants must also meet the following requirements:
- Be of good character;
- Meet the English language requirement and also pass a Life in the UK Test; and
- Must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period in the qualifying period.
Once applicants have obtained indefinite leave to remain they can apply for British citizenship by way of naturalisation 12 months from the date of grant of settlement.
How our immigration solicitors can help submit a Hong Kong Visa application
Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in visa applications and can submit successful Hong Kong visa applications from 31 January 2021. Our immigration team prepares applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of clients. The key to submitting a successful visa application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London submit a Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong 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 Hong Kong visa application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.