If you’re from Hong Kong and are a British national (overseas) you and your family members can apply for a British National (Overseas) visa. This is known as a BNO visa. It allows you to live, work and study in the UK.

Who can apply

You can apply for a BNO visa if you’re:

  • a British national (overseas)
  • 18 or older

Your permanent home must be:

  • in Hong Kong, if you’re applying from outside the UK
  • in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, or Hong Kong, if you’re applying in the UK

Your family members

Family members can apply for a BNO visa with you if they’re eligible.

Your family members must apply at the same time as you. They cannot apply after you get a decision about your visa application.

How long you can stay

You can apply to stay for either:

  • 2 years and 6 months
  • 5 years

You will be able to extend your visa if you want to stay longer. You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you want.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • work (except you cannot work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach)
  • study (including at school, college or university)

You cannot apply for most benefits (public funds).

Living permanently in the UK

You can apply to settle in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) after you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years on a BNO visa. This means you can stay in the UK without any time limits.

If you’ve already spent time in the UK on a different visa this may count towards the 5 years. Time spent on a Student visa (previously called a Tier 4 (General) student visa) or a Youth Mobility Scheme visa (T5) will not count.

To apply to settle in the UK, you’ll need to:

  • meet the knowledge of English requirements
  • pass the Life in the UK Test
  • have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months in the last 5 years
  • pay an application fee

Becoming a British citizen

One year after you settle in the UK (have ‘indefinite leave to remain’), you’ll usually be able to apply for British citizenship.

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