Manchester Solicitors delivering exceptional legal services at an affordable price.

Manchester & London Solicitors


BNO Passport Holders

Hong Kong BNO passport holder’s new visa option for UK immigration

The UK government has recently announced plans to change the Immigration Rules regarding holders of BNO passport holders (British National Overseas) following the announcement by the Chinese government that it will impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

What Is A BNO Passport Holder?

BNO passport holders are permanent residents of Hong Kong, who are entitled to British diplomatic and consular protections outside of Hong Kong and China. However, they are subject to immigration control in the UK as BN(O) status is not equivalent to being a British Citizen due to the lack of ‘right of abode’. This effectively means that BN(O) passport holders require a suitable visa to work and study in the UK in line with other non-EU nationals.

Proposed Changes To The BN(O) Passport Policy 

Currently BNO passport holders are allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months as a visitor. 

The proposed changes include opening a new route for work or study for an extendable period of 12 months and offering BN(O) nationals a path to British citizenship. The proposed route will allow BN(O) passport holders to apply for either a five-year visa or two periods of 30 months’ leave, permitting them to live, work, and study in the UK during that time. 

At the end of those five years, and presumably subject to a continuous residence requirement, BNO passport holders will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. One year after obtaining indefinite leave, they will be able to apply for British citizenship.

Dependants of BNO passport holders who were born after 1 July 1997 are not eligible to apply for a BN(O) passport since they are born after the UK’s handover of Hong Kong to China. However, if the parents are BN(O) passport holders, they will also be eligible for this route to obtain British citizenship.

BN(O) Citizens Coming To The UK

BN(O) citizens coming to the UK will have access to the job market at all skill levels and without the requirement of having a minimum salary threshold. 

However, under this route BN(O) citizens will not have access to public funding.

Increase In BN(O) Passport Applications 

There are currently an estimated 2.9 million people who are eligible to apply for a BN(O) passport in Hong Kong and about 290,000 people who have already obtained a BN(O) passport. 

Her Majesty’s Passport Office is already seeing a significant increase in applications for BN(O) passports and renewals.

How To Apply For Or Renew A BN(O) Passport 

To apply for a BN(O) passport from Hong Kong, please see this document from Her Majesty’s Passport Office in English or in Cantonese

BN(O) Visa Route Application

The Hong Kong BN(O) Visa route will start accepting applications from January 2021. Eligible BN(O) citizens will be able to apply for this route inside and outside of the UK.

BN(O) citizens taking up this route do not need to have a valid Hong Kong BN(O) passport. A valid or expired BN(O) passport can be used to show proof of BN(O) status. If you believe you have BN(O) status but do not have a physical BN(O) passport with you, the Home Office may be able to check your BN(O) status without one.

You will need to have a valid passport to show proof of identity, but the passport can be of any nationality.

How Our BN(O) Visa Immigration Lawyers Can Help You

Once the UK government announces the details and guidance of this new visa category our BN(O) passport team can help you in the preparation of your application for a visa, then apply for your indefinite leave to remain and thereafter apply for your UK citizenship.

Our expert BN(O) immigration lawyers shall help you ensure that your application meets the eligibility requirements and ensure you submit all the correct supporting documents.

We can also assist with your future requirements, for example:

Our international team can provide seamless legal services in the following languages:

In addition, our network of trusted business partners, can help you source and set up premises, obtain a business bank account and help you and your family settle in the UK.

As a full-service law firm, we can help you buy residential and commercial property in the UK, set up your business and deal with any other legal support you require.

More information about sole representative visa can be found at the government website GOV.UK – Work Visa.  

Price & Service Transparency

At Monarch Solicitors we provide highly competitive legal fees for clients wishing to apply for the BN(O) visa. We will provide you with a breakdown of the routine legal costs for the visa application from the outset so that you can budget the visa costs and fees.

Contact Our BNO Passport Solicitors

Our expert immigration lawyers are available to discuss your UK BN(O) passport visa option and the eligibility requirements.

Please contact our UK BN(O) immigration lawyers for immediate assistance by sending an email to us at [email protected] and one of our UK BN(O) immigration solicitors shall call you back. 

Alternatively, please call our BN(O) immigration team on 0330 127 8888 for a free no obligation discussion.

Monarch Solicitors is a leading UK law firm with specialist BNO passport holders solicitors ready to offer their expertise. Our award-winning Manchester solicitorsLondon solicitors and Birmingham solicitors offer their legal expertise nationally and internationally.

We are also able to leverage an international network spanning across Hong KongTurkey and Dubai to provide seamless assistance with cross-border matters relating to BNO passport holders.

Contact Us Today

By submitting the form you agree to our Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice
Members of
Monarch Solicitors Brand Stripes


Most frequent questions and answers

A British National (Overseas) passport known as a BN(O) passport, is a travel document with no citizenship rights attached to the passport. The BN9O0 passport was first issued in 1987 allowing any resident in Hong Kong the right to apply for a BN(O) passport up until the handover of Hong Kong from United Kingdom to China in 1997. Approximately, only 350,000 Hong Kong residents have a BN(O) passport, which provides British consular protection for life and allows BN(O) passport holders to be able to renew their BN(O) even after the handover.

There are 2.6 million people who are eligible to apply for a BN(O) passport.

Anyone born before the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 are eligible to apply for the BN(O) passport, even if you have not previously applied for a BN(O) passport.

Anyone born after July 1997, are not eligible to apply for a BN(O) passport. Instead, they will be granted the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport.

BN(O) passport holders have the right to remain in the UK for up to six months, but are not entitled to reside or work in the UK, and are not permitted to pass this special status on to their children.

Due to the imposed national security legislation in Hong Kong announced by China on 28 May 2020, which contradicts certain conditions of the agreement between the UK and China, such as allowing Hong Kong a high level of autonomy and freedom of speech, when Hong Kong was transferred back to China, the UK government has offered a route for BN(O) citzens and their dependants for residency in the UK, and ultimately lead to British citizenship.

People with a BN(O) status and their dependants will be allowed to live and work in the UK for five years where they can obtain settled status. The following year, BN(O) citizens will then have the right to obtain British citizenship. 

Solicitors you can trust

Client satisfaction is paramount to use so we appreciate your feedback as it allows us to continually improve the service we provide 

Austin Kemp
Austin Kemp
Read More
"Monarch Solicitors provide exceptional, skilled attorney who handles client's cases with compassion and understanding. I recommend her highly!"
Peter Istrate
Peter Istrate
Moxels Digital Agency
Read More
"Shazda, not just that advised me for the best solution but she went beyond in advising for future needs that we may be having at our creative agency, so much that we decided to work with them exclusively. I highly recommend!"
Katie Sharp
Katie Sharp
Read More
"Used Monarch for a freehold Purchase. Excellent service was kept informed of the process. Always willing to have a chat if needed. Thanks in particular to Nasira for her help would definitely recommend"
Monarch Solicitors Google Reviews

Contact Us

If you need legal advice fill in our enquiry form or contact us and one of our experts will get back to you as soon as possible.
By submitting the form you agree to our Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice

Request a call back

Please provide us with your details and we will call you back.

subscribe to our newsletter

By signing up to our newsletter you agree to Monarch Solicitors’ Privacy Policy Terms