Hong Kongers who hold BN(O) passports and their close family members can apply outside or inside the UK from January 2021.
The Home Office updated their guidance on 22 September 2020 to include further information about applying for ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ if an applicant is already in the UK or extending the ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ if the leave has expired. Additional information is also provided for partners and children (and adult children) born on or after 1 July 1997:
The route is not by all means stringent compared to other visa routes. There are no minimum income requirements, skill tests, economic needs tests or caps on numbers. Applicants do not need to have a job before coming to the UK, they can look for work once they arrive in the UK. All that is required of BN(O) holders are:
- They have BN(O) status (there is no requirement to provide a valid BN(O) passport
- They normally reside in Hong Kong or in the UK
- They can support themselves financially without relying on public fund
- They meet the strict criminality checks and are of good character
The Hong Kong BN(O) visa will allow for 2.5 years limited leave to remain in the UK. After 5 years of continuous residence, the BN(O) holders can apply for indefinite leave to remain and an opportunity to acquire full British citizenship.