Hong Kong has been a focus of the new lately, with the UK Government promising special visas for British Nationals (Overseas) status holders, such as in this BBC story. Here we look at the details of the scheme coming in force in January 2021.
3. There is no need to have a valid BN(O) passport, it can be an old one, and there is no restriction on dual nationality. But there is a condition to be a resident in Hong Kong. For example, if you are a ‘BN(O)’ but moved to Australia and obtained Australian citizenship, you won't qualify. Not because of Australian citizenship but because of not being a resident in Hong Kong anymore. If you are already in the UK, however, you may be able to switch into this scheme from 2021 onwards, assuming you can meet its conditions, such as on your finances.
4. The path to settlement is 5 years. The applicants can choose between a 5-year visa straight away or 2 visas (2.5 years each). After 5 years - settlement, where the usual rules on absences, criminality etc will apply. If you can't meet them, you will be expected to leave the UK - no more extensions! If you can - full British Citizenship after further 12 months.
5. BN(O) passport holders can come to the UK now in various Immigration routes, such as visiting visa-free for 6 months or applying for a Tier 5 YMS visa. It is not, however, full British Citizenship despite words ‘British National’, meaning BN(O)s are subject to usual immigration rules on work/student visas etc. For example, a BN(O,) wishing to work in the UK, needs the same Tier 2 Sponsorship from an employer as all other non-EEA citizens. This new visa, however, allows to come to the UK and look for work, in any occupation for any employer. It also allows studying, running a business, using the NHS, sending children to state schools and so on - except claiming public funds (welfare benefits).