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   BNO Visa   



BNO Visa is a new immigration rules allows British National (Overseas) citizen and their immediate family in Hong Kong to live, work and study in the UK. The BNO Visa route can lead to settlement in the UK.

Who is eligible for a BNO Visa?

In order to qualify for a BNO visa, you must demonstrate to the UK Visas and Immigration that you fullfill the following requirements:

  • You are a British national (overseas)

  • You are aged 18 or older

  • Your permanent home must be in Hong Kong (if you’re applying from outside the UK); or in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Hong Kong (if you’re applying in the UK)

  • You can proof that you have enough money to support yourself and your family for 6 months in the UK unless you’ve been living in the UK for at least 12 months (this exception does not apply to Youth Mobility Scheme visa)

  • You can provide a TB test certificate unless you have already provided it when you applied for entry clearance to stay in the UK via other visa routes


How long does the BNO visa valid for?

Applicants can either apply to stay in the UK for 2 year and 6 months or 5 years, they can apply for renewal of the visa after expiry of it for unlimited times. 

How much does it costs?
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* The above figures show fees payable for each person

Which family member (dependents) can apply with the BNO status holder (lead applicant)?

  • Partner

    • Spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner who has lived together with the BNO status holder for 2 years or more​

  • Household Child 

    • Children or grandchildren under 18 of the BNO status holder or their partner

  • Household Member  

    • Children aged 18 or over, of the BNO status holder or their partner, who was born on or after 1 July 1997

    • dependant partner and dependant child of the Household Member who normally live with the Household Member

  • Adult Dependant Relative ​​​

    • ​Parents / grandparents (aged 18 or over) 

    • brother / sister (aged 18 or over) 

    • son / daughter (aged 18 or over) 

          of the BNO status holder or their partner who normally lives with them and has exceptional high         

          dependancy of their care.

All the dependants need to proof their relationship with the BNO status holder. We can help you with collating all the documents needed for approval of the visa. For details, please contact our team.

Meeting financial requirement 

There is no specific set level of funds that an applicant and his dependants must hold.  But successful applicants must prove that they have sufficient funds to support them and their family members or at least 6 months in the UK. The Home Office has set out a formula to calculate the exact amount of fund that an applicant would need:


A – B ≥ C 


A (net income after deduction of tax and NI / funds available) minus B (housing costs) is greater than or equal to C (the amount that the applicant and his family member would get if they were in receipt of Income Support in the UK)

The following figures show the amount you would need (in addition to housing costs) as an guidance:

  • £2,000 as a single adult

  • £3,100 as a couple with a child

  • £4,600 as a couple with 3 children

  • £9,200 as a couple with 2 parents and 2 adult children

You can see more details on financial requirements in the FAQ section.  If you need further help in assessing source of funds and collating documental proof, please contact our immigration team.

Meeting BNO status requirement

BNO status was created on 1 July 1987 by the Hong Kong Act 1985 and the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986. Most Hong Kong resident before the handover in 1997 were classified as British overseas territories citizen and was able to register as a British national (overseas) before 1 July 1997. If you had registered as a BN(O) before 1 July 1997, or if you were under 18 before 1 July 1997 and was added to your parent's passport, then you are eligible to apply for the BNO Visa.

If you were born after 30 June 1997, you do not have BNO status. If you were born before 30 June 1997 but had not registered as a BN(O) before 1 July 1997, you do not have BNO status and you cannot apply to become one now. Since BN(O) status cannot pass by decent, if your parents did not add you in their passport, then you do not have BN(O) status.

If you are unsure whether you have BN(O) status, you can make enquiry with Her Majesty's Passport Service.


BNO Visa holders can apply for settlement (indefinitely leave to remain) to stay in the UK permanently without limitation on time after they have stayed in the UK for 5 years. 

If you have switched from the following visa to BNO visa, the period you stayed prior to the switch will be counted towards the 5-year qualifying period:

  • Global Talent visa (or a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa)

  • Investor visa

  • Entrepreneur visa

  • Skilled Worker visa (or a Tier 2 General work visa)

  • Minister of Religion visa

  • Sportsperson visa

  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa

  • UK Ancestry visa


Please note that time spent on a Student visa (previously called a Tier 4 (General) student visa) or a Youth Mobility Scheme visa are excluded.

To qualify for applications to settlement, you need to fulfil the following requirements:

    (If the degree was taught in a non English majority country, you will need your degree certificate as well as an English Language Proficiency Statement (ELPS) from Ecctis ((formerly UK NARIC) confirming the degree was taught in English.

  • pass the Life in the UK Test

  • have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any12 months in the last 5 years

  • has not breached of any immigration rules

For more details, please contact our team by email info@rcuklegal.co.uk or using the enquiry form below.

Get in touch with our immigration team today if you need help with your BNO visa application