Earlier this week, the UK Home Office announced the launch of a new Priority Visa service that allows British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong to get UK visas in five working days.

The new express service is for BN(O) passport holders who need to undertake urgent travel to the UK, and costs £500 (HK$4,990). Earlier, it would take up to 12 weeks for a BN(O) visa to be processed.

BN(O) citizens are permanent residents of Hong Kong who were British Overseas Territories citizens until 30 June 1997, and chose to remain British by registering for BN(O) citizenship before July 1, 1997. 

They have visa-free access to the UK for up to six months, but do not have the right to live and work in the country.

In July 2020, the UK government announced that these citizens could get additional rights by applying for BN(O) visas that will allow them to stay in the UK for either 2.5 years or five years

They can also work and study in the country, and, once they have been in the UK for five years, they can apply for permanent settlement. This, in turn, opens up a path to British citizenship.

Header image credits: Vladislav Zolotov via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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