İrem UZUN -TDO- The British government has released more information on the new Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) Visa, which will create a bespoke immigration route to enable BN(O) citizens ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, and their immediate family members, to move to the UK to work and study.
Hong Kong's BN(O) passport holders and their immediate dependants will have the right to apply for a special UK visa from January, Home Secretary Priti Patel said. Eligible individuals from Hong Kong currently can come to the U.K. for six months without a visa. With the rule change, they will have the right to live and work in the country for five years. After that, they will be allowed to apply for settled status and then again for citizenship. Those eligible can access the British job market at any skill level and without a salary threshold, but won’t have access to public funds.
The offer comes after China imposed a sweeping new security law in Hong Kong. Beijing has previously warned the UK not to meddle in domestic issues. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in May that all BN(O) passport holders "are Chinese nationals" and the move would "violate international law". However, Patel said on Wednesday that the offer meant the UK was "keeping our promise" to Hong Kong residents "to uphold their freedoms".