Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

This is immigration route enables British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, and their immediate family members, to move to the UK to live, work and study.

This new immigration route came into force on the 31st of January 2021. The Hong Kong BN(O) route allows BN(O) status holders and certain family members to live, work and study in the UK. After 5 years, applicants will be able to apply for settlement, and after a further year, British citizenship, providing they meet the requirements.

There are 2 pathways under the Hong Kong BN(O) route: the BN(O) Status Holder Route and the BN(O) Household Member route.

Applicants will be able to apply for permission for either 5 years or 30 months.

You will be able to study and work in almost any capacity- however, you won’t be able to access public funds.


BN(O) Status Holder Route:

Main applicant:

The main applicant must be a BN(O) citizen. Further information as to who qualifies as a BN(O) citizen can be found on the GOV.UK website

Family members:

Spouses, partners, and children under the age of 18 will be eligible to apply for visas as dependants of the main applicant. Further information about eligible family members can be found on the GOV.UK website

Ordinarily resident in Hong Kong:

Applicants who have applied for this visa outside the UK must show they are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the date of application. Information as to what documents are required can be found on the GOV.UK website  


Applicants and their dependants will have to demonstrate that they can accommodate and support themselves in the UK for at least six months.

English language:

There will be no English language requirement for the initial visa, but after residing in the UK for five years, applicants applying for indefinite leave to remain will have to show English language ability to level B1 as specified in Appendix English Language found in the Immigration Rules.

Tuberculosis test certificate:

Applicants from Hong Kong will need to supply a tuberculosis test certificate with their initial applications.  Further details on tuberculosis testing requirements can be found in Appendix T found in the Immigration Rules.


Applicants must “have no serious criminal convictions, have not otherwise engaged in behaviour which the UK Government deems not conducive to the public good, and not be subject to other general grounds for refusal set out in the Immigration Rules".  This is a standard requirement for all visa routes.

BN(O) Household member route:

This is specifically for children of BN(O) Status Holders over the age of 18 and born on or after 1 July 1997. Further information on this route can be found in Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) found in the Immigration Rules.

Application process

To apply from outside the UK, you can access the application form via the following GOV.UK webpage

To apply from within the UK, you can access the application form via the following GOV.UK webpage

Successful applicants will receive a digital-only visa which will be accessible online.

Work and study

Visa holders will be permitted to work in employment or self-employment.  They will also be free to apply to higher education institutions to study in the UK.  Children can be enrolled in state schools.  If your programme requires it, you will be required to obtain Academic Technology Approval Scheme in order to enrol on your programme at UCL.