The new visa route will be open to Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas from 31 January 2021. The latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 813 contains changes relating to Hong Kong British National Overseas passport holders. This comes further to the announcements from the UK Government earlier this year which promised to help these individuals in relation to China’s increasing hostilities and give them a path to British citizenship. Our immigration solicitors in London are always aware of the constant changes in the UK’s Immigration Rules and system and are always happy to arrange a consultation via Skype or telephone for overseas clients, in order to assess each individual’s circumstances and discuss all applicable routes to the UK.
Who is a Hong Kong British National Overseas?
Before the UK handed over responsibilities for Hong Kong to China, the UK Government created the British National (Overseas) nationality status for Hong Kong citizens. They were able to register as a British National (Overseas) by 1 July 1997 and it gave them the right to hold a British passport and get British consular assistance and protection from British diplomatic posts. It does not give the automatic right to live and work in the UK and Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas are still subject to immigration control.
What are the changes for Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas?
Appendix: Hong Kong British National (Overseas) has been created to cover two new routes; the British National (Overseas) Status Holder route and the British National (Overseas) Household Member route.
The British National (Overseas) Status Holder route is for a British Overseas citizen who is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or the UK. Their dependents (child or partner) can, if they are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or the UK, also apply under this route. In exceptional circumstances, other dependent family members (such as parents or grandparents) may also be able to apply if they can demonstrate a high degree of dependency on the main Applicant.
The British National (Overseas) Household Member route is for adult children born on or after 1 July 1997. The British National (Overseas) Household Member, and any dependent partner or child applying under this route must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or the UK and form part of the same household as the main Applicant.
Decisions can be challenged by way of Administrative Review and the Immigration Rules Appendix AR, paragraphs AR3.2 and AR5.2 will be amended to reflect this.
What are the requirements for a Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa?
The new visa route will be open to Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas from 31 January 2021.
As mentioned above, Applicants must be British National Overseas citizens who are either ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or the UK. There will also be a maintenance requirement. Applicants must show that they can maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependent family members for at least 6 months in the UK, without recourse to public funds. Applicants who have been living in the UK for more than a year when they apply will not need to meet this requirement however. Entry clearance Applicants or those who are applying within the UK who have been present in the UK for less than 6 months will also need to take a TB Test to prove they do not have Tuberculosis. The Home Office will update its guidance over the next couple of months to provide further details as to the specified evidence.
What will Hong Kong British National Overseas Applicant’s be entitled to?
Applicants will be able to apply to enter or remain in the UK for a period of 30 months (which can be extended by a further 30 months) or a period of 5 years. Applications can be made from both outside the UK and from within the UK. Applicants may be eligible to apply for settlement after 5 years and then British citizenship 12 months thereafter; thus, confirming the UK Governments previous promise to create a path to citizenship for Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas.
Once in the UK on this route, Applicants can work and study in the UK and will have access to the NHS. Child dependents will also be allowed to enrol in a UK school.
What are the fees for Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa Applicants?
The Home Office application fee will be £180 if applying to stay in the UK for 30 months or £250 if applying to stay in the UK for 5 years. These fees will also apply to each dependent. Applicants and dependents will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (“IHS”). For each adult the IHS fee will be £1,560 if the application is to stay for 30 months or £3,120 if the application is to stay for 5 years. For each child under the age of 18 the IHS fee will be £1,175 for 30 months visa or £2,350 for 5 years visa.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit an application from Hong Kong British Nationals 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 UK immigration application
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, 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 application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful applications from Hong Kong 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 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.