How Hong Kong citizens can apply for visas and passports to live and work in the UK

  • Boris Johnson has announced that the UK will allow around 3
    million Hong Kong residents to live and work in the UK
  • Under the scheme, Hong Kong citizens with British visa rights
    will be allowed to apply for a five year visa before becoming
    eligible for full British citizenship.
  • The move came after Beijing introduced a controversial security
    law in Hong Kong which has already seen hundreds of protesters
    arrested.
  • Here are the full details on how the visa application system
    for Hong Kong residents might look and what we know so far.
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    Insider’s homepage for more stories
    .

Boris Johnson has confirmed that the UK will allow around 3
million Hong Kong residents to apply for residency in the UK.

The move comes after China passed a controversial national
security law in Hong Kong which critics say allow Beijing to clamp
down on freedoms on the semi-autonomous island.

Speaking on Wednesday, the UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab,
who called the national security law a “grave
and deeply disturbing step
,” set out details of the UK’s
residency offer to millions of Hong Kong citizens.

Which Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for a British visa?

The new immigration offer will allow a group of Hong Kongers
called British National (Overseas) Citizens (BNOs) to apply for UK
residency. Dominic Raab
said
there are about 3 million eligible BNOs, 300,000 of whom
already hold British passports.

Applicants will be able to apply for a five-year visa, which
allows them to live, work and study in the UK. At the end of those
five years, those people will be able to apply in the UK for
indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and one year after that they
will be able to apply for British citizenship.

How much will a visa application cost?

Dominic Raab
said on Wednesday
that Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, would
set out further details of the immigration scheme “in due course,”
so it remains unclear exactly what immigration route will be
available to BNOs.

John Vassilou, a lawyer specialising in immigration and
nationality at law firm McGill & Co, said on the Free
Movement website
that he believed the visa route would be
similar to the UK
Ancestry visa
.

If the visa route for British Overseas Nationals in Hong Kong
did mirror the UK Ancestry visa, it would cost £516 (4,990
Hong Kong dollars) and requires people to submit applications 3
months before they travel at the earliest.

Will Hong Kong residents have to pay the NHS surcharge?

While the UK Ancestry visa is significantly cheaper than many
others, it also requires applicants to pay the health
surcharge
, an annual fee levied on many visa applications which
permits people to access NHS services.

In all likelihood, Hong Kong residents will have to pay this
charge, which currently applies to all visa applicants from outside
the European Economic Area.

The health surcharge will cost £624 a year for adults from
October 2020, which would amount to a total of £3120 over the
initial five-year period for which eligible Hong Kong citizens able
to apply for residency. Rates are discounted for children.

However, the annual health surcharge has risen steeply in recent
years. It was £200 in 2018, before rising to the current £400

before it rises again later this year
, meaning fees could have
risen further if Hong Kong residents apply in future years.

At current rates, Vassilou said, a family of four applying to
come to the UK could expect to pay — up front — £10,940 on the
health surcharge, as well as £2,064 on visa fees.

How much would indefinite leave to remain cost?

Applying for indefinite leave to remain — which Hong Kong
residents would be eligible to apply for after five years —

costs a further £2,389 per person
.


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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
How Hong Kong citizens can apply for visas and passports to
live and work in the UK