Hong Kong BN(O) Visa Application FAQs

by | Jan 31, 2023 | Indefinite Leave to Remain, UK Immigration

The BN(O) Visa route gives applicants the right to work and study in the UK and access public services such as healthcare and schools. Eventually, BN(O) visa holders can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK and British Citizenship by Naturalisation. The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa launch in January 2021 generated interest and uncertainty among eligible applicants. This blog reviews some of your most frequently asked questions about the BN(O) visa application process.

Can BN(O) holders visiting the UK apply for the BN(O) visa from within the UK?

No, British National Overseas passport holders who are merely visiting the UK cannot apply for a long-term visa such as the BN(O) Visa from within the UK. BN(O) applicants must demonstrate ordinary residence in either the UK or Hong Kong at the time of application.

How long will I be able to stay in the UK on a BN(O) visa?

When submitting a BN(O) visa application, applicants may choose between a 2.5-year or 5-year visa. If dependents are included in the application, their visas will match the duration of the primary applicant’s visa.

After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK under the BN(O) route, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

What is the maintenance requirement for a BN(O) Visa?

To apply for a BN(O) visa, applicants and their dependant family members must demonstrate their ability to provide adequate housing and financial support for 6 months. The required amount of funds will vary based on the number of family members included in the application and must cover living expenses, including accommodation.

For assistance with your BN(O) Visa Application, contact our experienced immigration team today at 0208 757 5751 or use our contact form.

When my BN(O) visa is approved, what documents will I receive?

If you are applying from within the UK, you will only be issued a BRP card when your application is approved.

If you are applying from outside the UK, once your BN(O) visa is approved, you will receive a visa vignette endorsed in your passport. 

Is there a time limit to enter UK after getting BNO visa?

Usually, you will need to enter the UK within 30 days after receiving your visa vignette.

How much does the BN(O) Visa cost?

The costs involved in a BN(O) Visa are the Home Office application fees are £180 if you’re applying for 2 years and 6 months or £250 per applicant if you’re applying, and the Immigration Health Surcharge which is £624 per year for adults and £470 per year for children under the age of 18. 

Do I need a TB Test Certificate for a BN(O) Visa application?

BN(O) visa applicants from listed countries, including Hong Kong, must provide a valid TB test certificate confirming freedom from tuberculosis for themselves and any accompanying dependents.

Can I apply for a BN(O) visa if I am over 18 years of age?

You can apply for a BNO visa if you’re 18 or older and either: a British national (overseas) the child of a British national (overseas) born on or after 1 July 1997.

Can my non-BN(O) national child apply as my dependant?

Applicants can bring their immediate dependants, including non-BN(O) citizens.

Can my children apply for indefinite leave to remain If I do not qualify for settlement?

Generally, for a child to be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), both parents must hold ILR or concurrently apply for ILR with the child. The child will not be granted ILR unless both parents successfully obtain it.

How long does it take to get a BNO visa?

You should get a decision within 12 weeks once you either attend your appointment at the visa application centre or when you submit your online documents after completing the ID Check app.

When can a BN(O) Visa holder apply for British Citizenship?

BN(O) visa holders can apply for British citizenship after holding indefinite leave to remain for at least one year. To acquire ILR status, you must have resided in the UK for at least 5 continuous years. 

Do I have to apply for British citizenship on the BN(O) visa route?

The BN(O) route is a path that leads to British citizenship but there is no requirement that you must apply for British citizenship. 

Can my child apply for British citizenship if I do not apply?

For a child to apply for British citizenship independently, they must be 18 years or older. Upon application, they will be subject to the naturalization requirements, including meeting absence requirements, passing the Life in the UK test, and demonstrating proficiency in English, among other eligibility criteria.

What are the alternatives to the BN(O) Visa application?

Some alternatives to the BN(O) visa application could be a Skilled Worker Visa where you have a job offer from a UK Employer, family visas (e.g. spouse or dependant visa) or British Citizenship through descent or naturalisation. 

How can we help

Whytecroft Ford offers expert assistance with BN(O) visa applications. Our experienced team provides personalized guidance to ensure maximum chances for a successful outcome. We will review your application and documents, avoid mistakes, and offer related immigration services. Contact us to learn how we can help with your BN(O) visa application at 0208 757 5751 or use our contact form

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