Before the handover of the UK’s responsibilities for Hong Kong, the British Government created the British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) nationality status which was opened to people in Hong Kong, through a registration process, to those who had British Dependent Territories citizenship.
The new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa will allow BN(O) citizens to reside and work or study in the UK. During their stay, BN(O) citizens are expected to be self-sufficient and to integrate and contribute to UK society. After 5 years in this country, they will be able to apply for settled status and after a further year, they may apply to naturalise as a British citizen.
The Hong Kong British National Overseas Visa is due to commence on 31st January 2021. To make preparations for the arrival of people coming from Hong Kong to the UK, the Greater London Authority organised a meeting between the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, London Councils, London boroughs, Metropolitan Police and other agencies to discuss ways to support the arrival of the people from Hongkong.
Amongst our community, the GLA also invited the Hackney Chinese Community Services (HCCS), the Hongkonger in Britain (HKB), and the Hong Kong Assistance Resettlement Community (HKARC) to make a presentation to the meeting, in order to assist the London boroughs’ preparation, policy and service developments in welcoming Hongkongers to London.
The three organisations produced a joint paper which was well received. We are now looking forward to working with the government, GLA and London Boroughs to develop a number of services to build community cohesiveness and facilitate Hongkongers settlement in the UK.