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Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

UK allows Hongkongers born after 1997 to apply for BNO independently

UK allows Hongkongers born after 1997 to apply for BNO independently

The UK government has decided to allow Hong Kong citizens born on or after July 1, 1997, who have at least one parent holding the British National (Overseas) passport (BNO) to apply for the passport themselves independently.

"We intend to lay the changes to the Immigration Rules in September with the changes expected to go live in October," said Kevin Foster, Under Secretary of State for Safe and Legal Migration, in a statement made on Thursday.

The existing rules allow adult children of a BNO parent to apply as a dependent if they apply at the same time as their parent, are part of their parent's household in Hong Kong, the UK, or the Crown Dependencies, and were born on or after July 1, 1997.

Yet, some people of the group cannot access the passport route because their BNO parent does not wish to apply, because they are not part of their parent's household, or they are unable to apply at the same time.

This created unfair outcomes for families of BNO holders with some children old enough to apply for the passport independently, while their younger siblings aged between 18 and 24 can't.

"It is right and important to address this, so the [UK] Government has made the decision to enable individuals aged 18 or over who were born on or after July 1, 1997, and who have at least one BNO parent to apply to the route independently of their BNO parent," it continued in the statement.

All other suitability and eligibility requirements, including six months maintenance funds and the requirement for the applicant to be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, must also be met.

After five years in the UK, those on the BNO route will be able to apply for settlement, followed by citizenship after a further twelve months.

According to the statement, the immigration route was launched on January 31, 2021, and there were 103,900 applications as of December 31, 2021.

*Click here for the official statement made by the UK government.

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