A brief practical guide to getting a British National Overseas (BNO) Visa to work in the UK

This document is here to help to navigate the visa system for citizens of Hong Kong looking to relocate and work in the UK. It will also be useful for companies recruiting from Hong Kong to the UK.

BNO Holder Route: Available to citizens of Hong Kong as of 31st December 2020



  • If you have a chipped HKSAR, BN(O), or European passport you can apply for the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa through the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
  • Or, you can apply online using the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa application form.


The application process:

  • Pay the BNO visa application fee – £180 for 30 months visa or £250 for 5 years visa.
  • Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge: £1560 for 30 months or £3120 for 5 years
  • Provide any required biometrics and a valid passport
  • You must have applied to be registered as a British National (Overseas) prior to the end of 1997.
  • You must be able to show you can financially support yourself for 6 months with bank statements, payslips, proofs of income or a letter from a family member who will support you in the UK.
  • If you have been a resident of Hong Kong in the last 6 months you will need a medical certificate confirming you don’t have active pulmonary tuberculosis


The Visa and Conditions:

  • Applicants can receive either a 30 month or 5-year visa
  • There is no access to public funds
  • After 5 years spent with the BNO, visa applicants can apply for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’
  • After living in the UK for a year with this status, British citizenship is open to applications



  • Family members can apply as ‘dependent’ if they live with the applicant.
  • For any other queries on this, see the government website or contact our partner immigration law firm CCIMM for more info.


Disclaimer: The rules are changing all the time and so we cannot guarantee the validity of the advice given. Please check the government website for the latest information.