Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has given his thoughts on the new immigration route for British National (Overseas) citizens from Hong Kong.
The Government announced yesterday (22 October) that the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa will be open for applications from 31 January 2021.
The cost of the visa has been set lower than many other visas routes to the UK. A five-year visa will cost £250 per person. Applicants will also be able to apply for a 30-month visa which will cost £180 per person.
British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens will be able to move to the UK, to study and work. All those with BN(O) status are eligible, as are their family dependants, provided they are usually resident in Hong Kong. There will be no quota on numbers.
The move comes in response to the Chinese Government breaching the Sino-British Joint Declaration by restricting the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and eroding the high degree of autonomy of the city.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“It is right that the Government introduce this route in response to the Chinese Government breaching the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and I welcome that we have now been given more detail on how this will work practically.
“I am also pleased to see that the fees being charged for these visas is lower than the Government previously trailed.
“However, there still remains gaps in the policy regarding the charging of the NHS surcharge, BNOs lack of access to student loans, and that there is still nothing for under 23s. The Government should look to address these issues urgently, so that they are resolved before the new system is introduced in a few months time.”