In response to the National Security Law introduced in #China (which affects Hong Kong) #HongKong, our PM, Boris Johnson, today announced a new immigration route for Hong Kong residents with British National Overseas (#BNO) status.
The new route will allow qualifying #BNO holders the ability to apply for 'limited leave to remain in the UK', enabling them to live and work in the UK. The PM further confirmed that the route would allow these individuals, the ability to apply for British Citizen status in the future.
This promise appears to firmly reiterate the commitment he had made earlier on last month and the same message purported by our Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab.
While on the surface this route may offer an alternative to BNO holder who wishes to enter the UK, details of this route will need to be clarified.
Mr Raab has so far helpfully provided some information, and this is what we know at this stage:
The route is bespoke to BNO holders and their family members;
This route will be streamlined to ensure minimum fuss (in respect of the application process;
The route will allow applicants an immediate five years limited leave to remain;
The route will enable the individual to apply for 'settled status' after the five years;
Individuals under this route will be allowed to apply for British Citizenship after 12 months following their grant of settled status.
What we do not know is whether such application will carry any costs, i.e. application fees, immigration health surcharge, etc. or have any other conditions of stay until they are eligible for settled status after five years.
Many questions need to be answered to ensure that the route is not another temporary route with heavy conditions attached to it. Like many of our immigration routes, the great idea at the time often turns into a disappointment.
In any event, this is a significant development (in many ways than just immigration), and we will endeavour to keep you updated.
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