Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Programme: for Individuals/Families/Applicants
If you are from Hong Kong and 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.
You are able to apply to enter or stay in the UK for a period of 30 months (which you can extend by a further 30 months) or a period of 5 years. You are able to apply from outside or inside the UK. If you are already in the county – welcome.
You are able to apply for settlement after 5 years if you meet the requirements, and British Citizenship 12 months after settlement.
You can find more information about applying for the visa on the Government webpages.
The Government has also produced an online Welcome Pack for all BN(O) status holders with information, translated into Cantonese, on how to access services and understand life in the UK.
Below are some resources that may be useful to you as a new arrival from Hong Kong to the UK. Please check carefully to make sure these are relevant to you and what you need and please seek further help and advice if you are not sure.
We have prioritised resources that are available in Traditional Chinese, however many resources are only accessible in English or Simplified Chinese at the moment.
In addition, the Government has announced that it is going to provide funding for local authorities and regional Strategic Migration Partnerships to support new arrivals. The regional Strategic Migration Partnerships cover the following areas and their contact details can be obtained by clicking on the relevant link.
Here in the South West, we cover the geographical county areas of the Isle of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Within this area, there are 33 county, unitary and district councils – see our map to find the council that covers the area where you live if it is in the South West.
Please complete the following form
to ensure we can assist you in the
best way possible:
Please complete the following survey
if you are a newly arrived
HongKonger coming to the UK
under BN(O) visa route:
There are many non-governmental organisations and public bodies that offer support and independent advice with different issues. Some organisations may only cover particular geographic areas and some may charge for services and advice – always check in advance. Some examples are provided below but there are others available, and more advice on available services can be found on the services search page of GOV.UK:
- Homelessness Shelter
- Domestic abuse Refugeand Women’s Aid
- Safeguarding Children NSPCC
- Employment Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and National Careers Service
- Family, Housing, Health, Work, Debt Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- Housing NRLA and Chartered Institute of Housing
- Debt Debt Advice Foundation
- Parenting Gingerbread, Family Lives, Family Action
- Legal rights The Law Centres Network
All immigration advisers in the UK must be registered with Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner or be a member of an approved professional body, for example The Law Society. Immigration advisers can help with most things to do with immigration, but they do not make immigration decisions. Check if the adviser is registered and if they charge a fee before you use them: find an immigration adviser.
If you have questions with regards to your existing Hong Kong BN(O) visa application, please contact UK Visas and Immigration for help – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Bank accounts: getting started (Refugee Council): available in English.
Citizens Advice Bureau have information about rights and responsibilities here in English which can be translated into traditional and simplified Chinese on line via Google. You can You can now apply for a National Insurance (NI) number online. You need a NI number for work in the UK, although you can start work without it, if you can show your employer that you have the right to work through other means.
- Help with NHS costs (NHS Business Services Authority): available in English, 繁體中文 and 简体中文.
- Migrants’ Rights to Healthcare (Doctors of the World): available in English and 简体中文.
- COVID-19 information (Doctors of the World): available in English, 繁體中文 and 简体中文.
- COVID-19 information (World Health Organisation): available in English and 简体中文.
- Information video on Covid Tests (Doctors of the World): available in English and 繁體中文.
- Cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment (Macmillan Cancer Support): available in English and 繁體中文.
- Six ways to improve your wellbeing (Doctors of the World): available in English, 繁體中文 and 简体中文.
- “My Hero is You” children’s book about COVID-19 pandemic (Interagency Standing Committee): available in English, 繁體中文 and 简体中文.
- Action for Happiness Calendar (February 2021): available in English, 繁體中文 and 简体中文.
- Mental Health advice (Royal College of Psychiatrists): available in English, 繁體中文 and 简体中文.
- Mental Health information (Embrace Multicultural Mental Health): available in English, 繁體中文 and 简体中文.
- Hong Kong Nursing Association UK – 英國香港護士協會 (hknauk.org)
- Working as nurses in the NHS: If nursing candidates who live or intend to settle in South West England meet NHS’s criteria of 12 months acute inpatient experience within the last 3 years (2 years if in ED and Theatres) then they can send their CVs directly to email@example.com.”
- Resource Pack for Hong Kong Nurses
- How the NHS Works Infographic
Family, Education and Learning
- Helping children learn: guidance for parents (Bell Foundation): available in English, 繁體中文
- About the English Education System – Primary Schools (Bell Foundation): available in English, 繁體中文
- About the English Education System – Secondary Schools (Bell Foundation): available in English, 繁體中文
- Home Learning Resources (Chatter Pack): available in English.
- Pregnancy, newborns and breastfeeding (Baby Centre): available in Englishand 中文.
Please be sure to check that the below are suitable for your requirements.
UKHK Church Network – welcome to the UK
Hongkongers in Britain | 英國港僑協會
Bristol Chinese Christian Church (BCCC)
The below list is not exhaustive and we will be continually be updating this with other groups and their information. If you are a member of a group who wants to be listed here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with you.
Local authorities and regional Strategic Migration Partnerships
- East of England Strategic Migration Partnership
- East Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership (EMSMP)
- London Strategic Migration Partnership (LSMP)
- North East Migration Partnership (NEMP)
- Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership (NISMP)
- North West Regional Strategic Migration Partnership
- COSLA Strategic Migration Partnership (CSMP) – Scotland.
- South East Strategic Partnership for Migration (SESPM)
- South West Strategic Migration Partnership
- Wales Strategic Migration Partnership (WSMP)
- West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership (WMSMP)
- Migration Yorkshire
If you need any assistance at this time, please contact us at:
11 Middle Street
(Please note our offices currently only have skeleton cover due to Covid -19 so it is best to ring or email.)
On: 01823 270101 and or HongKongBNO@swcouncils.gov.uk