British National (Overseas) Visa

British National (Overseas) status is one of several types of British nationality and it is associated with residents of Hong Kong. Some Hongkongers hold BN(O) status and, if they do, they may be able to apply for a British National (Overseas) Visa.

Dependants of the BN(O) can also apply, and – as this visa route was introduced because of political problems and issues with mainland China – the rules for this are unusually generous. Dependants do not need to be BN(O)’s themselves. Adult children of a BN(O) and their family members may also be able to apply, under the Household Member route.

It is important to understand that BN(O) status and BN(O) Visa are two different things: the first is a nationality and the second is a visa.

This visa allows work (employment, self-employment or running a business) or study and can be applied for either from outside or possibly within the UK. There is no English language requirement. It is granted for five years and can be extended, and it also provides a route to settlement after five years.

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