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.


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.

Health Care
Family, Education and Learning
  • Helping children learn: guidance for parents (Bell Foundation): available in English and 简体中文.
  • About the English Education System – Primary Schools (Bell Foundation): available in English and 简体中文.
  • About the English Education System – Secondary Schools (Bell Foundation): available in English and 简体中文.
  • Home Learning Resources (Chatter Pack): available in English.
  • Pregnancy, newborns and breastfeeding (Baby Centre): available in Englishand 中文.
Community Groups

Please be sure to check that the below are suitable for your requirements.

UKHK Church Network – welcome to the UK

The Hong Kong Society  

Friends of Hong Kong

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 survey to ensure we can assist you in the best way possible:

Survey Link

If you need any assistance at this time, please contact us at:

Dennett House
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 info@swcouncils.gov.uk