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:

Request for Assistance form

Please complete the following survey
if you are a newly arrived
HongKonger coming to the UK
under BN(O) visa route

Survey Link


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:

Immigration Advice

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.

Health Care
Family, Education and Learning
Community Groups

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

Hong Kong Watch

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 info@swcouncils.gov.uk and we will be in touch with you.

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 HongKongBNO@swcouncils.gov.uk

Thank you for uploading the document to the South West Councils website