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Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for Dependent Partners of BNO Status Holders

The BN(O) Status Holder route is for a BN(O) citizen adult who is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or the UK. A dependent partner and a dependent child of a British National (Overseas) citizen can also apply under this route. This Guide is for a dependent partner. We have separate guides for the other applicants (links to be added once published):

Applications for Hong Kong BN(O) visas open on 31 January 2021.

There are validity, suitability and eligibility requirements that a dependent partner must meet to make the application. The eligibility requirements cover your:

  • Relationship to the BN(O)
  • Ordinary residence
  • Adequate maintenance and accommodation
  • TB Certificate

You do not need to apply under this route if you are a BN(O), even if your partner is a BN(O). You can instead, apply as a BN(O) Status Holder in your own right, see our Guide: Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for BNO Status Holders.

Validity Requirements for a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

How do you apply for a BN(O) visa?

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

What are the application fees for a BN(O) visa?

You must pay the application fee (£180 to apply to stay for 30 months or £250 to apply to stay for 5 years) and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee (£1,560 if you’re applying to stay for 30 months or £3,120 if you’re applying to stay for 5 years).

Do you need to apply from outside the UK?

If you are not currently in the UK, you will need to apply to make your BN(O) visa application and obtain entry clearance before you travel to the UK. If you are in the UK lawfully, or if you fall within the exception for overstayers, you can apply to switch to this visa from within the UK.

Additionally, for your BNO visa application to be valid, you will need to provide any required biometrics, and provide a passport or other travel document to prove your identity and nationality.

Suitability Requirements for a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

You must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal. This will consider your personal history and immigration history. If there are any concerns, you should seek immigration advice prior to applying.

Additionally, if you are applying from within the UK, you must not be in breach of immigration laws (unless paragraph 39E, the exception for overstayers, applies), or on immigration bail. See my blog for an answer to the question: What is Paragraph 39E?

If you are in the UK lawfully, or if you fall within the exception for overstayers, you can apply to switch to the BN(O) Status Holder route from within the UK.

Relationship Requirement for a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa

If you have not previously been granted permission as a dependent partner of a BN(O) Status Holder, then you must show you meet all of the relationship requirements:

  • You must be over the age of 18 on the date of your application
  • Your BN(O) partner must be making an application on the BN(O) Status Holder route at the same time as you 
  • Your relationship must be genuine and subsisting
  • You must form part of the same household on the date of application, i.e. you must normally live together
  • You must intend to live together throughout your stay in the UK
  • If you are not married or in a civil partnership you must meet additional requirements:
    • You must have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least the two years before the date of application
    • Any previous relationship of you or your partner must have permanently broken down
    • You must not be so closely related that they would not be allowed to marry in the UK

We can advise as to the evidence that can be provided to prove your cohabitation for two years, if you are unmarried partners, and to prove in any case that your relationship is genuine and subsisting and that you form part of the same household.

Hong Kong BN(O) Visa Ordinary Residence Requirement

If you are applying from outside the UK, you must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the date of application.

If you are applying from inside the UK, you must be ordinarily resident in the UK, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, Bailiwick of Jersey, the Isle of Man or Hong Kong on the date of application.

In determining where a person is ordinarily resident, the Home Office will consider if you have a regular habitual mode of life in a particular place for the time being, which has continued apart from temporary or occasional absences, and whether that residence is voluntary and adopted for a settled purpose. We can advise you on the evidence that can be provided to show this, depending on your particular circumstances.

Maintenance & Accommodation Requirement

If you are applying for permission to stay and have been living in the UK for 12 months or more on the date of application, you will automatically meet the financial requirement. You do not need to provide further evidence.

If you are applying for entry clearance, or have been living in the UK for less than 12 months on the date of application, you must show you can adequately maintain and accommodate yourself, or that your BN(O) partner can adequately maintain and accommodate you, without recourse to public funds for at least 6 months. You or your partner may also rely on credible promises of future third party support to meet this requirement.

How is adequate maintenance calculated?

Adequate maintenance is where the projected weekly income (“A”), less weekly accommodation costs (“B”), would be equal to, or more than, the amount the family would be entitled to if they were in receipt of income support or equivalent (“C”). In order to calculate whether the amount held in cash savings is sufficient, the total amount must be divided by the number of weeks of limited leave that would be granted if the application was successful (“A”). The formula for calculating adequate maintenance is the same as with weekly income: A – B ≥ C. We can assist you with the formula and advise you as to the specified financial evidence that must be submitted.

What is adequate accommodation?

Accommodation that is not overcrowded and does not contravene public health regulations.

TB Certificate Requirement

Do you need a TB Certificate?

If you have been resident in Hong Kong for the 6 months before you apply, you will need a valid medical certificate confirming you have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis and that this tuberculosis is not present in you.

If you are in the UK, and your last grant of permission was for less than 6 months and you were present in a country listed in Appendix T of these rules for more than six months immediately prior to their last grant of permission you must provide a valid TB Certificate. A valid medical certificate is a certificate from an approved centre issued within the 6 months immediately before the date of application. There are approved clinics in the UK, listed here. The list of accepted clinics in Hong Kong can be found here.

A TB Certificate is not required,  if you provided one as part of a successful application for entry clearance in the 12 months before the date of application.

Hong Kong BN(O) Visa Decision & Conditions

You can be granted either 30 months or 5 years under the route. It will depend on the length of period for which the BN(O) Status Holder applied, as you will be granted permission which ends on the same date as your partner’s permission.

You will not be able to access public funds. However, you can undertake work (including self-employment and voluntary work) except for employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach). You can also study, but may require an ATAS Certificate depending on your course of study. You may need to register with the police, depending on your country of nationality.

Refusal of a Hong Kong BN(O) Visa Application

If the application is refused, it is possible to apply for an Administrative Review to challenge the decision, but there is no right of appeal. If you have been refused, we can review the reasons for refusal and advise you as to the merits of an administrative review.

Dependants of Hong Kong BN(O)s

For guidance on other applicants under the Hong Kong BN(O) routes, please see our related posts (links to be added once published):

  • Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for BNO Status Holders
  • Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for Dependent Children under 18 of BNOs
  • Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for Children over 18 born after 1997 of BNOs
  • Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for Adult Dependent Relatives of BNOs

Contact our British Nationality Lawyers in London

For expert advice regarding an application for a Hong Kong BN(O) visa or any aspect of British Nationality Law, contact our British Nationality Lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

SEE HOW OUR IMMIGRATION BARRISTERS CAN HELP YOU

To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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