NEW HONG KONG IMMIGRATION ROUTE
The Somerset Guardian, 3rd February 2021
This week, the Home Secretary announced that the Government successfully launched a new immigration route for Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) [BN(O)] on 31st January 2021 in recognition of the historic commitment of the United Kingdom (UK) to the people of Hong Kong and specifically to those who elected to retain their ties to us through obtaining BN(O) status.
The introduction of the Hong Kong BN(O) route follows the imposition of the National Security Law on Hong Kong by the Chinese Government in June 2020, which restricted the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and breached the Joint Declaration. The UK acted swiftly to develop this route, recognising the unique circumstances facing BN(O) status holders and their family members.
Importantly, people from Hong Kong will be able to come to the UK to live, study and work. After five years in the UK, they will also be able to apply for settlement followed by citizenship after a further twelve months. In addition to this new route, individuals from Hong Kong will also be able to submit an application to come here under the terms of our new points-based immigration system, which will offer a wider range of professions and at a lower general salary threshold than in the past.
I am delighted that the Home Secretary, along with Government colleagues, the Devolved Administrations and in collaboration with civil society groups, is enabling those who take up this offer to feel fully supported and welcomed.
I would also like to take this opportunity to announce the opening of another vaccination centre in Keynsham and encourage everyone eligible to receive the immunisation to get it. Appointments are easy to book once you have received your invitation letter: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/.
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