The BNO visa application threshold is low and many visa applicants think that the approval is relatively straightforward. But in fact, there are many complexed cases which show that the UK government is still very strict about the applications.
According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics, the UK has received a total of 172,500 visa applications, and 166,420 have been approved. In 2022 Q4 and 2023 Q1, over 300 cases have been refused in each quarter.
From our experience, most of these refusal cases are due to the applicants’ personal circumstances, making them difficult to meet the visa requirements. During this period, we have received many enquiries and we have given them full support to increase the success rate and conduct administrative review when necessary.
The main BNO applicant can apply with the following dependents:
The UK government confirmed that the provisions for adult children born after 1 July 1997 under the Hong Kong British National (Oversea) route will be started from November 30, 2022. Adult children can apply for BNO visa independently if they meet the following requirements:
Eligible applicants may apply together with their spouse (including married spouse, same-sex partners or the partner who has lived together for two years), their children and adult dependents.
You can apply for either a 5-year or a 2.5-year visa with a further 2.5-year extension.
Many of our clients have been inquiring about the eligibility of applying BN(O) visa. We have summarized the most frequently asked questions for your reference. If you have any questions, please arrange a consultation with our team to discuss your circumstances.
If you apply via the visa centre, you will need to land in the UK within 90 days.
If you apply via the “UK Immigration: ID check” app, you will need to land the UK within 180 days in order to fulfil the residency rules for PR application.
How much you need depends on how many family members are applying with you. For example, you’ll need about:
Applicants will need to provide a valid TB certificate from one of the approved clinics in HK. The certificate is valid for six months and it must be valid at the date of the visa application (instead of the date of landing in the UK).
The official processing time is 12 weeks, which is around 3 months.
The UK Home Office has announced that starting from 14th August 2023, they will introduce a Priority service for BNO visa applications, allowing applicants with urgent travel plan to receive a decision within 5 working days.
The UK Home Office stated that this policy continues the UK’s unwavering commitment to the people of Hong Kong.
Under the current Immigration laws, if your child is aged under 18, you will have to apply as a family unit, unless you have the sole custody of the child.
If your child is already aged over 18, you can apply with your child and you do not need to include your spouse in the application.
After five years, if your child is still under 18 years old, both parents will need to fulfil the residency requirements (no more than 180 days absence during any 12 months) in order for the child to apply PR.
The UK Home Office will consider the applicant’s past criminal records including the type of conviction, the date of the crime, the sentence imposed, whether the applicant was sentenced to imprisonment and so forth to make decision case-by-case.
If you have previously declared bankruptcy, you will need to confirm whether the bankruptcy order has been dissolved and declare this on the application form.
Please contact us for further information about your criminal or bankruptcy record in order for us to advise further.
You need to provide at least three items of proof of address (e.g. utility bills, bank statements or any official correspondence) to confirm your permanent address in HK.
If you have been residing in other countries for study, work or family reasons, we will need to assess your immigration history and your current visa state in your current country to assess your eligibility (e.g. whether you have already obtained PR or citizenship in that country is an important consideration).