Would you like to apply for Hong Kong bno visa application? In this post, we will dive into bno visa application process, requirements, eligibility, application fees, how to apply and so much more. Just stay tuned as we walk through all the processes involved in Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa, HK BN(O) Visa.
Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa – BNO Visa Overview
Some of the questions we have been receiving is what is BNO visa? Here is an overview of the HK BN(o) visa:
BNO stands for “British National (Overseas)” and refers to a type of visa that was introduced by the UK government in response to China’s imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong in 2020.
The BNO visa allows citizens of Hong Kong who hold a British National (Overseas) passport to live and work in the UK for up to five years. After five years, they may be eligible to apply for settled status or citizenship.
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The BNO visa was introduced as a way to offer protection to Hong Kong citizens who are concerned about the erosion of their civil liberties and human rights following the imposition of the national security law. It is part of the UK’s commitment to uphold the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which established the “one country, two systems” principle for Hong Kong when it was returned to China in 1997.
The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa is a new UK visa route that began in January 2021. The new path is open to all British nationals living abroad. The visa route allows British National Overseas citizens in Hong Kong to come to the UK to live, study, or work. Successful applicants may also bring certain family members to the UK.
You can apply for either a two-year and six-month BNO Visa or a five-year visa. The visa also serves as a pathway to settlement for foreign nationals in Hong Kong. After 5 years of lawful residence in the UK, holders of BNO visas will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. It also serves as a pathway to British citizenship, which can be applied for after holding ILR for at least 12 months.
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Applications may be submitted from both within and outside the United Kingdom.
Who can Apply for BNO Visa
You can apply for a BNO visa if you are 18 or older and either a:
- British national (overseas)
- the child of a British national (overseas) born on or after 1 July 1997
Also, your permanent home must be:
- in Hong Kong, if you’re applying from outside the UK
- in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Hong Kong if you are applying in the UK
Applying and Travelling with your family members
If your family members meet the requirements, they can apply for a BNO visa. Unless they are your partner or your child under the age of 18, they must usually apply at the same time as you.
You can include in your BNO Vita application some family members who normally live with you. This certain family members includes the following categories:
- Spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner
- Adult children born on or after July 1, 1997 (and their spouse and children under the age of 18) if they live with you and are dependent on you for their care
- Your children or grandchildren under the age of 18
- Other family members (grandparents, parents, siblings) in exceptional circumstances
How long you can stay With BNO Visa
Applicants can apply to stay for either:
- 2 years and 6 months
- 5 years
However, if you want to stay longer, you will be able to extend your visa once you’re in the UK. Interestingly, you can apply to extend your visa as many times as you want.
Note that after you have lived in the UK for 5 years with BNO visa, you can apply to live in the UK permanently.
What you can and cannot do with BNO Visa
If you are living in the UK with the BNO visa, you can:
- work (but you cannot work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach)
- study at school, college or university
However there are some restrictions. You usually will not be able to claim any public funds whilst in the country on BN(O) Visa.
Once you have a BNO visa, you may be able to get access to benefits. You willl be eligible for this in certain financial circumstances, for example if you:
- Do not have a place to live and are unable to afford one
- Have a place to live but cannot afford basic living expenses such as food or heating,
- Are in danger of losing your home or being unable to meet basic living expenses,
- Have a very low income, and not being able to access benefits would be detrimental to your child’s well-being.
However, if you do have access to benefits, you can still apply to live in the UK permanently after 5 years.
BNO Visa Financial Requirements
To be eligible for a BN(O) visa, you must demonstrate that you can accommodate and financially support yourself and your family in the UK for at least 6 months. This can include your or a family member’s earnings and savings, money earned from a current job in the UK, or an offer of assistance from family and friends.
To apply for a BNO visa (British National (Overseas) visa) or to apply to switch to or extend one, you must:
- pay the visa application fee,
- pay the healthcare surcharge
As an evidence of your circumstances, you must provide the following supporting documents:
- Bank statements
- Written statements from friends or family offering financial support or accommodation
Note: All documents that are not written in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
BNO Visa Application Fee
You and your family members each will need to pay a visa application fee.
The cost is as follow:
- £180 if you’re applying for 2 years and 6 months
- £250 if you’re applying for 5 years
As part of your application, you may be required to attend an appointment to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph).
You and your family members will each have to pay the healthcare surcharge.
This is so that you can use the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. You will still have to pay for some NHS services, such as prescriptions, dental care, and eye tests.
For each adult (18 year or older) it costs:
- £1,560 if you’re staying for 2 years and 6 months
- £3,120 if you’re staying for 5 years
For each child (under 18), it costs:
- £1,175 if you’re staying for 2 years and 6 months
- £2,350 if you’re staying for 5 years
The healthcare surcharge is payed as part of your online visa application.
Money to support yourself and your family
When you apply for the first time, you must demonstrate that you have enough money to cover your rent and support yourself and your family for 6 months.
This can include:
- your earnings and savings, as well as those of your family members
- money you will earn in your current UK job
- money you will earn if you transfer to a job in the United Kingdom with your current employer
- a request for assistance from family or friends
If you’ve been in the UK for 12 months or more, you usually don’t need to show that you have enough money to support yourself. If you’ve been in the UK on a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you’ll still need to show this.
In addition to money for housing costs, you’ll need at least the same amount as someone would get on Income Support in the UK.
How much you need depends on how many family members are applying with you. For example, you willl need about:
- £2,000 as a single adult
- £3,100 as a couple with a child
- £4,600 as a couple with 3 children
- £9,200 as a couple with 2 parents and 2 adult children
Documents Needed for BNO Visa Application
When you apply, you must bring a valid passport or other travel document proving your identity and nationality.
If you are a British national (overseas), you can apply with a current or expired BNO passport (or a photocopy) to demonstrate your BNO status.
You can still apply if you no longer have a BNO passport. The Home Office will check your status, but a decision on your application may take longer.
To travel to the United Kingdom, you do not need a BNO passport. Any valid passport or travel document will suffice.
You will also be required to provide evidence:
- that you have a permanent address in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man
- that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family
- of your family members’ relationships
- if you did not already provide it when you arrived in the UK, of your tuberculosis (TB) test certificate
Any documents that are not in English must be certified translated.
Applying as the Adult Child of a British National (overseas) Visa
If you apply as the child of a British national (overseas) aged 18 or older (born on or after 1 July 1997), you must also show that one of your parents has BNO status.
You must provide the following:
- a copy of your parent’s current or expired passport
- a certificate of birth or adoption proving your relationship
If your parent does not have a BNO passport or you are unable to obtain the information, include their full name and birth date in your application. Your parent’s BNO status will then be checked by the Home Office.
Proof of your Permanent Home Address
You will need to provide up to 3 documents that show your permanent home address. This can include:
- household or utility bills
- a visa, residence permit or other immigration document (or a colour photocopy)
- payslips or your most recent P60
- bank statements
- records of rent or mortgage payments
- a letter from an employer confirming your employment
- an appointment letter from your GP or other healthcare professional
- a letter from the local council or a government
Unless both of the following are true, your family members (‘dependants’) will be required to provide proof that their permanent home address is the same as yours:
- They are your partner or a minor under the age of 18, and
- they are applying after you have already moved to the UK.
Proof/Evidence you have enough money to support yourself and your family
Unless you’ve been in the UK for at least 12 months, you’ll usually need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family (dependants) for 6 months.
Even if you’ve been in the UK for more than a year on a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you must still demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself and your family.
This includes proving you have the funds to pay for housing or an offer of housing from friends or family.
If you’re applying with family, you and your family members’ income or savings can be used as evidence.
You may be required to provide evidence such as:
- bank or savings account statements
- proof of income from self-employment
- proof of income from rental property
- a letter from friends or family with evidence (such as bank statements or payslips) that they have the money to support you and your family
- a letter confirming an offer of accommodation from friends or family
- a tenancy or mortgage agreement
Bear in mind that at least one piece of evidence must be dated no more than 31 days before you submit your application.
Note that an offer of work does not usually count as evidence unless you’re transferring to a job in the UK with your current employer.
Proof of your relationship with family members
If your family members are applying, they must provide evidence of your relationship with them.
- a birth certificate or adoption certificate for children
- a copy of a marriage or civil partnership certificate
- evidence that their permanent home address is the same as yours
BNO Visa Application
How to apply for BNO visa:
To apply for a British National Overseas (BNO) visa, please follow these steps:
- Check if you are eligible: You can apply for a BNO visa if you are a British National (Overseas) and a citizen of Hong Kong, or a person who was born before July 1, 1997, and was eligible for British Dependent Territory citizenship (BDTC) through a connection with Hong Kong. You should also meet other eligibility requirements, such as age, character, and English language proficiency.
- Prepare your documents: You will need to prepare the required documents, which include a valid passport or travel document, evidence of your BNO status, evidence of your identity, evidence of your finances, and evidence of your English language proficiency.
- Apply online: You can apply for a BNO visa online through the UK government’s official website. You will need to complete the application form and provide your biometric information, such as fingerprints and a photograph, at a visa application center.
- Pay the fee: You will need to pay the application fee and any additional fees, such as the healthcare surcharge.
- Attend an appointment: You will need to attend an appointment at a visa application center to provide your biometric information.
- Wait for a decision: You will receive a decision on your application within a few weeks. If your application is successful, you will receive a visa that allows you to enter and stay in the UK for up to 5 years. After that, you can apply to extend your visa or apply for settled status or citizenship.
BNO Visa Application Website
The official website to apply for a BNO visa is the UK government’s website. Here is the direct link to the BNO visa application page: https://www.gov.uk/british-national-overseas-bno-visa
From this page, you can find information about eligibility requirements, required documents, fees, and how to apply. You can also start your application by clicking on the “Apply for a BNO visa” button.
Frequently Asked Questions About BNO Visa
Here are some frequently asked questions about the British National Overseas (BNO) visa:
What is a BNO visa?
A BNO visa is a visa that allows British National (Overseas) citizens from Hong Kong and their family members to come to the UK to live, work, and study.
Who is eligible for a BNO visa?
To be eligible for a BNO visa, you must be a British National (Overseas) and a citizen of Hong Kong or a person who was eligible for British Dependent Territory citizenship (BDTC) through a connection with Hong Kong. You must also meet other eligibility requirements, such as age, character, and English language proficiency.
How do I apply for a BNO visa?
You can apply for a BNO visa online through the UK government’s official website. You will need to complete the application form, provide your biometric information at a visa application center, and pay the application fee.
How long does it take to get a decision on my BNO visa application?
You will receive a decision on your application within a few weeks of submitting it. However, processing times may vary depending on the volume of applications and other factors.
How long can I stay in the UK with a BNO visa?
If your BNO visa application is successful, you will receive a visa that allows you to enter and stay in the UK for up to 5 years. After that, you can apply to extend your visa or apply for settled status or citizenship.
Can I bring my family with me to the UK on a BNO visa?
Yes, you can bring your spouse, partner, and children under the age of 18 with you to the UK on a BNO visa. They will need to apply for their own visas and meet the eligibility requirements.
Can I work in the UK on a BNO visa?
Yes, you can work in the UK on a BNO visa. However, you will need to have a job offer from a UK employer and meet other eligibility requirements.
Can I study in the UK on a BNO visa?
Yes, you can study in the UK on a BNO visa. However, you will need to have a place at a UK educational institution and meet other eligibility requirements.
Do I need to pay a healthcare surcharge when applying for a BNO visa?
Yes, you will need to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your visa application. The surcharge gives you access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during your stay in the UK.
Can I travel to other countries with a BNO visa?
A BNO visa only allows you to travel to and stay in the UK. If you want to travel to other countries, you will need to apply for visas or other travel documents as required by those countries.