Changes to the Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Route
The Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Visa is an immigration route for adult children (aged 18 or over) of a BN(O) Status Holder or a BN(O) Status Holder’s partner, born on or after 1 July 1997, to live, work and study in the UK.
The government announced in February 2022, that the BN(O) Household Member route was going to be expanded to allow adult children (born on or after 1 July 1997) of BN(O) Status Holders to apply independently of their BN(O) Status Holder parents. The recent statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 719) and the explanatory memorandum, have confirmed that this change will come into force on 30 November 2022.
The Current Rules for Hong Kong BN(O) Household Members
There are a number of requirements that applicants for a Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member visa must satisfy, including that the Household Member:
- Normally lives with the BN(O);
- Is the child of someone who is being granted permission as a BN(O) or the partner of a BN(O);
- Holds a valid TB test certificate (if applicable);
- Meets the maintenance requirements;
- Is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, the UK, the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, or the Isle of Man.
The application must also not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal and the validity requirements must be met.
The main issue with the current rules is that if the BN(O) parent does not wish to apply, or they do not form part of the same household or if the parent is unable to apply at the same time, their adult child is unable to apply under the BN(O) Household Member route.
This creates a disparity between individuals who may not be that far apart in age, with some children able to access the route independently as they were old enough to be registered for BN(O) status, while their younger siblings, for example, aged between 18 and 24 are unable to access the route.
Changes to the Rules for Hong Kong BN(O) Household Members From 30 November 2022
Appendix Hong Kong British National (Overseas) will be updated to include new provisions which allow the children of BN(O) status holders to apply for the BN(O) route independently. They will no longer be required to form part of the same household or apply at the same time as the BN(O) status holder.
The explanatory memorandum confirms:
“This change will apply to those who: have at least one BN(O) parent;
- are aged 18 or over;
- were born on or after 1 July 1997; and
- reside in Hong Kong, the UK or the Crown Dependencies.
Partners, dependent children, and adult dependent relatives of the adult child may also apply with them.”
There are no changes to the other suitability and eligibility criteria for the BN(O) Household Member route. The BN(O) Household Member must still:
- Make a valid application;
- Not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
- Hold a valid TB test certificate (if applicable);
- Meet the maintenance requirements;
- Be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, the UK, the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, or the Isle of Man.
Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Visa Application Fee
A 30-month Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Visa costs £180 per person, whilst a five-year Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Visa costs £250 per person.
BN(O) Household Members also need to pay the immigration health surcharge in order to receive access to the National Health Service in the UK. For an adult (18 or older) it costs:
- £1,560 if you’re staying for 30 months;
- £3,120 if you’re staying for 5 years.
Settlement in the UK under the Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Visa route
To apply for settlement, Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Visa holders must be able to demonstrate 5 continuous years of residence in the UK. Time spent in the UK with a different type of leave under which a person can settle, this leave can be combined with time spent in the Hong Kong BN(O) category.
Absences from the UK of up to 180 days in any 12-month period are acceptable.
To settle in the UK after 5 years, those under 65 need to satisfy the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirements.
Contact our Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance regarding an application for a Hong Kong BN(O) Household Member Visa, contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.