As of 31/01/2021 the new visa for Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) will be open for new applicants. In this blog we will give an overview of the eligibility requirements as well as the kind of activities successful applicants are able to undertake while present on this visa.
Who Can Apply?
Anyone with British national (overseas) status. You don’t need a British national (overseas) passport in order to apply, and if you have one but it is expired you don’t need to apply for a new one. If you have an expired one however you should submit this with your application.
You will need a valid travel document but this can be a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport. You can apply from inside or outside the UK.
If you apply from outside the UK you and your family must normally be resident in Hong Kong. If you apply from inside the UK you must be normally resident in the UK, Hong Kong, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.
How Long Can I Stay For?
You will initially be granted 5 years of leave or 2.5 years of leave after which you will be able to extend it for a further 2.5 years. After 5 years on this route you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK. After holding Indefinite Leave to Remain for 12 moths you will be able to apply for British Citizenship.
What Can I do?
You can work, study, and use the NHS (National Health Service). If you have children they will be able to attend school for free if they are under 18.
You will not be able access public funds (social welfare benefits and similar)
How Much Does it Cost?
The visa application itself will cost £180 for 2.5 years or £250 for 5 years (although the Home Office has not made it clear under what circumstances an application could be made for 5 years).
You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as a mandatory part of the application. This costs £1,560 for 2.5 years or £3,120 for 5 years per adult applicant and £1,175 per 2.5 years and £2,350 per 5 years per child under 18.
Can I Bring my Family?
This visa category allows for dependants to accompany the main applicant regardless of whether they themselves are British nationals (overseas). Your family must apply at the same time as you, they cannot apply to join you later.
Your family members must normally live with you and may include the following
-Spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner,
-Child under 18
– Adult child born on or after 1 July 1997 (and their spouse, or child under the age of 18)
– Extended family members like parents, grandparents or siblings where there is a high level of dependency and exceptional circumstances.
What Documents Will I Need?
You will need to provide the following:
- Evidence you can financially support yourself and your family for 6 months (this might take the form of bank statements or letters from friends and family)
- A TB certificate (If you normally live in Hong Kong or have been living in another country requiring a TB test in the past 6 months OR you are in the UK and your last grant of leave was for 6 months or less)
- Evidence of where you normally live.
We recommend everyone takes professional advice when applying for a visa. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you apply for the British National (overseas) visa, or any other UK visa, please gives us a call on 01403 801 801 or email us at [email protected] for a consultation.