GovWire

Detailed guide: British nationals (overseas) in Hong Kong

Uk Visas Immigration

January 26
12:18 2021

The UK will create a new immigration route for British nationals (overseas) and their dependants.

This page will be updated with the latest information about this immigration route.

New immigration route for British nationals (overseas)

The UK will open a British National Overseas (BNO) visa for British nationals (overseas) and their close family members from January 2021.

Find out more about the BNO visa.

Current status of British nationals (overseas)

If youre a British national (overseas) you can stay in the UK as a visitor for up to 6 months without a visa. However, you are subject to immigration control and, as a visitor, do not have the right to live, work or take up long-term study in the UK.

You are advised to get travel or health insurance as you cant access public funds and must pay for most of your healthcare.

View more detailed information about British national (overseas) status.

Check if you need a visa if you need to come to the UK for more than 6 months, or to work or study.

Entering the UK before the BNO visa is available

If youre not eligible to enter the UK under an existing immigration route, Border Force officers may be able to consider granting Leave Outside the Rules at the UK border for a period of up to 6 months to you and your accompanying dependants. You can then apply for the BNO visa from within the UK when it is available.

To be considered, youll need to show:

  • your identity
  • your British national (overseas) status
  • that you normally live in Hong Kong or the UK
  • that you can accommodate and support yourself financially in the UK

Youll also need to show evidence of any non-British national (overseas) dependants family links to you and you should travel together to the UK as a family unit. A dependant is any of the following:

  • spouse or civil partner
  • unmarried partner
  • child (under the age of 18 when they first applied)
  • adult child born on or after 1 July 1997 (and their partner or child under the age of 18) who normally lives with you
  • other family members in exceptional circumstances where there is a high level of dependency who normally live with you

Identity and British national (overseas) status

Youll need a valid passport to show proof of identity.

You can use a valid or expired British national (overseas) passport to show your British national (overseas) status.

If you do not have a British national (overseas) passport the Home Office may be able to look at records to check your status.

Hong Kong or UK residence

To be eligible for Leave Outside the Rules you must usually live in Hong Kong or the UK. You can prove your evidence of residence by showing:

  • a Hong Kong identity card
  • a Hong Kong medical card
  • a letter from an employer or education provider confirming your employment or study
  • a voters card
  • a visa or residence permit or other immigration documents
  • an educational record, for example a school report
  • tax records
  • records of rent or mortgage payments
  • household bills

The list of evidence is not exhaustive. We may consider other forms of evidence on a case-by-case basis.

Evidence that you can accommodate and support yourself financially

Youll need to show that you can provide accommodation and financial support for yourself and any of your dependants for at least 6 months.

You can show this with:

  • bank statements that show savings
  • evidence of regular income that will continue whilst in the UK, such as salary, investment or pension payments
  • investment details
  • receipt of educational grants from overseas
  • an offer of employment in UK
  • income of your partner, spouse or other family member, for example parental funding or your spouses salary earned by working in the UK
  • an offer of accommodation from family or friends

The list of evidence is not exhaustive. We may consider other forms of evidence on a case-by-case basis.

Evidence of your relationship

Youll need to show evidence of your dependants relationship to you.

If theyre your spouse or civil partner

You must show a marriage or civil partnership certificate.

If theyre your unmarried partner

Youll usually need to show that youve been living together in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years.

If theyre your child or adult child

Youll need to show evidence that you are their parent, adopted parent or guardian such as:

  • a full birth certificate
  • an adoption certificate
  • a court order, such as a special guardianship order

If theyre the partner or child under the age of 18 of your adult child (born on or after 1 July 1997)

Youll need to show evidence of their partners relationship including a marriage or civil partnership certificate.

If theyre not married, theyll need to show theyve been living together in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years.

Where they have dependent children under the age of 18, they will need to show evidence that they are the parent, adopted parent or guardian such as:

  • a full birth certificate
  • an adoption certificate
  • a court order, such as a special guardianship order

What you can and cannot do

As a person with Leave Outside the Rules you and your dependants can:

  • work
  • study

See the guidance for employers if youre employing someone with leave outside the rules at the border.

You cannot:

  • get public funds

You will need to pay for any NHS care you get at the point you use it unless its a service thats free. You should have full health insurance throughout your stay with Leave Outside the Rules.

British nationals (overseas) who are already in the UK

If youre already in the UK, you can apply for the BNO visa from within the UK when it opens for applications from January 2021. You can also apply from within the UK if you were granted Leave Outside the Rules at the UK border when you arrived.

If your existing immigration leave expires before January 2021 and you want to stay in the UK before applying for the BNO visa, there are a number of options open to you:

Youll need to meet the requirements of the route youre applying for and pay any application fee that applies.

Applying for Leave Outside the Rules from within the UK

You can apply for Leave Outside the Rules for a period of up to 6 months.

Once youve applied, you can stay in the UK on the terms of your existing immigration leave until your application is decided.

Youll need to pay the Leave Outside the Rules application fee.

Youll need to pay the immigration health surcharge.

Once your Leave Outside the Rules application had been granted, you and your dependants can:

  • work
  • study

You cannot:

  • get public funds

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), it may take longer than normal for your application to be processed. If a decision has not been mad

Related Articles

Comments

  1. We don't have any comments for this article yet. Why not join in and start a discussion.

Write a Comment

Your name:
Your email:
Comments:

Post my comment

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Share This


Enjoyed this? Why not share it with others if you've found it useful by using one of the tools below: