UK grants visas

The UK has a new visa for Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas

The UK has decided to grant special visas to Hong Kong residents with British passports and to their immediate dependents as a way of keeping their promise to Hong Kong residents. Watch the video for more information.

  • China's new security law which was passed on in June threatens certain freedoms for Hong Kong residents. 
  • Beijing had warned the UK not to meddle in domestic issues, however the UK says they're "keeping their promise".
  • British National Overseas passport holders will be able to apply for the visa since January.

Hong Kong used to be a British colony, but in 1997 it was handed back to China. The agreement, known as the Joint Declaration, meant "one country, two systems" and it guaranteed freedom of assembly, free speech and freedom of the press. The problem is the UK says China's new law threatens that agreement. 

The UK wants to protect Hong Kong residents' freedoms as per their original agreement.

Conditions for the special visa

British National Overseas or BNO are already allowed to visit the UK without a visa for 6 months, however, the special visa gives them the opportunity to apply for two periods of 30 months or five years to remain in the UK, and then eventually become full British citizens.

BNO holders will be able to take immediate dependents, such as a spouse who doesn't have the passport, and children under 18 years old.

Those who were born after 1997, when Hong Kong was handed back to China, won't be entitled to a BNO passport. However, holders' children over 18, born in 1997 will be able to apply if they are part of a family unit.

Applicants don't need to have a job before entering the UK, but they do need to show an interest in learning English. They will have to be able to support their family since they won't qualify for benefits.

Estefanía Martínez

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