Pathways to citizenship for Hongkongers 香港人

With a BNO passport you will likely soon be able to use the new pathway to British citizenship, but there are also other options for Hongkongers, i.e.

1. Sole representative;
2. Tier 2 (General);
3. Start up visa;
4. Innovator visa;
5. Investor visa;
6. Global talent visa.

The next video is on how to apply for a BNO passport 在香港申請英國國民(海外)護照

The government has announced a new potential route for BNOs to secure British citizenship, by saying:

“China’s National People’s Congress has formally announced its decision to impose a national security law on the people of Hong Kong … if China goes down this path and implements this national security legislation we will be required to change the status of BN(O) passport holders and set in train arrangements which allow them to come to the UK for longer than the current six month period and to apply for extendable periods of 12 months to work and study, which itself will provide a pathway to citizenship.”

As of 24th February 2020, there was 349,881 holders of BN(O) passports and there are also around 2.9m people in Hong Kong eligible for the passport.

The British National (Overseas) passport, commonly referred to as the BN(O) passport, is a British passport for persons with British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status. The passport was first issued in 1987 after the Hong Kong Act 1985, from which this new class of British nationality was created. Holders of BN(O) passports are permanent residents of Hong Kong who were British Dependent Territories citizens until 30 June 1997 and had registered as BN(O)s.

The British National (Overseas) status itself does not automatically grant the right of abode anywhere (including the United Kingdom and Hong Kong). However, all BN(O)s possess the right of abode or right to land in Hong Kong by virtue of their previous British Dependent Territories Citizen status with connection to British Hong Kong.

Hi I’m Tom Bradford in this video I’m going to explain the pathways to British citizenship for Hong Kong is now we’ve been talking in the last three days about the potential new pathway for no passport holders but I’d like to just have a look at the other existing options and of course it’s not the case that that everyone in Hong Kong has BN o status or a B and O passport so let’s just go through these now all of these are pathways through which you can secure a permanent residence and then citizenship the deeper the times that that takes depends on the route so the first one here we’re going to have a look at on this list as sole representative fruit so just here now this is a five-year pathway to permanent residence it’s a renewable at year three and it gets you to at the point of which you can apply for indefinite leave to remain at year five you then need a clear year before you apply for the full British citizenship and of course if you have a piano passport are you a petitioner a national but not but not a British citizen so you would still need to go through one of these pathways now that involves basically setting up a branch of your existing business and I did a live stream the other day about the amendments to the rules around this essentially people have been particular owner managers have used this route in recent years to say a point a family member like you know if that majority shares a point a family member to be the sole representative so that they can come on a dependent visa and work where and that that is no longer possible but I think it highlights a bit of a gap here the sole representative visa is for situations where your sin a senior employee just to set up a branch so it’s not set up for owner managers of businesses so I do ID for Hong Kong clients who are applying for the innovative visa we’re subject to being a qualifying business idea you can you can come over even as an owner manager but the sole representative root doesn’t allow that at the moment and the way that my clients tend to use the sole representative route is in in the way you originally envisaged by the government which is that you send over a cell representative and then you apply for a sponsored license and then with that sponsor license you can then bring other people in so that would permit you if you’re an owner manager of a business to be sponsored under work visa and that’s a nice segue to the next point which is the Tier two general visa so that you require that you’re sponsored and from the beginning of next year that’s very likely to be relaxed significantly so the government contemplating abandoning was called to the resident labour market test by which currently and over the last few years you’ve had to put any advertiser all out to the marketplace to allow a local British people and what when there are new European Union European people to apply for the role before you before you offer it to someone from outside of the EU so the there is an exception to that which some of my clients use which is where as long as this a genuine role if the person is paid one hundred and fifty nine thousand per year so one hundred and sixty thousand then then you don’t spread it to the to the market but what’s contemplated from next year is that there’ll be no resident labour market SOT r2 we’ll be probably a much a much easier immigration route or an immigration read that involves less obstacles and it will still be a pathway to indefinite leave to remain and citizenship so you can’t in any direct sense sort of self-sponsor but if you as I said send over a sole representative to set up a branch and then have a sponsor license and you have genuine roles then you can bring people bring people over and that might include an owner manager so it is contemplated under the sole representative route that at the branch that setup does not become the main headquarters suit up to just make sure they in in substance at least for the duration of the sole representative visa that that remains a branch now the next route is the start-up and innovator route so I do have Hong Kong clients who are on in fact I have one on the start-up visa but mostly they’re on and the innovative visa and for that you need to qualifying business idea which is innovative viable and scalable and there’s a requirement that it is there is your you know business idea you you’ve got to have a business plan which you can implement and show that you’ll be able to make significant achievements under the business plan during the visa term so the interesting thing about that research base is that you set up the criteria for your success because as long as it is endorsed by an endorsing body so you need up and also embody a form of a sponsorship basically but then you know in other words has been confirmed that it’s in diversifiable unscalable then you are after that you set up the criteria for your success so your milestones in the business plan very important but that that is a good visa very particular feeling yet that sort of tech space or in science I know Hongkong has very impressive science park for example and of course you know there’s a fantastic innovation in many sectors including FinTech MedTech in Hong Kong and the other visas available I do have a Hong Kong client who’s doing this at the moment is the investor visa so you the investor visa can invest either a 2 million 5 million or 10 million and I’m currently during covert the UK shares a fluctuating so I’m going to be doing a livestream specifically on the subject of investor visas during the context of share volatility however you can with the help for a portfolio manager put together a portfolio that that minimizes you know the minimize this risk the funds do need to be at risk but a bit of course you can with help fur and a financial adviser control or minimise that risk so the so that’s the investor visa and if you if it’s an investment of 2 million that gives her a five-year pathway to citizenship and then after that there’s the global talent visa and this has different limbs I’ve got some videos coming up about this there’s a science limb that’s one for architecture and there’s one for the Arts and I suppose the biggest one is the tech one so that that involves got a confirmation again endorsement from the sponsorship if you like where it’s confirmed that you have either exceptional promise or that you are exceptionally talented and the criteria are quite tough but it’s definitely worth looking at if you’re you know professional and particularly if you’ve been at the forefront of change or advancing your sector so those are the current pathways to citizenship for Hong Kong Hong Kong is if you like the and they I’ve left out here the family which may be very important and there’s an important set of pathways if you like which involve situation where if you’re a partner of a European national and you’re living in the UK because at the moment under the transitional arrangements you still have free movement rights and that includes a right to bring in non-European family members so for example you know if you were Hong Kong and you had a partner who was French and that and you were both it you know in the UK or planning to come to the UK before the end of the year then that would offer a pathway to open residence in settlement now I’m the other pathways the one that I’ve made I’ve been live streaming about over the last couple of days which is the newly announced potential pathway I would highlight which has which I’ve said I’ve set out if you just check out my last couple of videos that go through this timeline in detail about what’s proposed and that’s was specifically for beer knows now I just wanted to go just take the opportunity on this livestream to just go through a few reactions to the announcement about this new pathway and it’s some really very interesting reactions these are people you purely are reactions from Reddit and I don’t endorse any of your views in these but I thought it’d be worth going over them just to get a feel for the situation so this was an announcement to Dominic Robb saying that the that be in ours if you like I would have a new pathway to British citizenship and the first company said thanks that means a lot I was born in British Hong Kong and I’ve always considered myself British I hold to be in a passport we love English football here we support England in the World Cup here we love our double-decker buses red post boxes milk and RT was the source of the Beatles and Hong Kong coins and stamps of the Queen on them but more importantly Hong Kong is lovely and brilliant people and proud of this little spot on the world map and then this this a reaction by another B&O holder so I’m one of the 300,000 active being at holders for many years I used B&O exclusively ahead of HKSAR passport because it shows I’m the real Hong Conger who was born before 1997 and I’m just remember there in mind you know my the chronology and history of the topic which I set out in my last livestream I hate the CCP logo on the cover of the HKSAR passport I also renewed to be a BN o for all of my family members a few years ago however eight out of ten people around me thought I’m weird because I said be an O is useless and it’s more expensive than HKS r1 now they’re coming to ask me to countersign for their renewal of their and be a no however it would be a huge decision to move to the UK if one can only stay for 12 months though they say it’s extendable bear in mind that it’s actually you know would be extendable right the way through to indefinite leave to remain and then citizenship by registration and it goes on probably most of us the B&O holders like me are above 30 s have family have a stable job and satisfactory income it’s not easy to start from zero again in Hong Kong if the UK government can’t guarantee more supportive measures more importantly I love my home I don’t want to surrender to the evil empire says I will only take that as a life-saving measure at the last resort so I think UK people should have nothing to worry about because it’s highly unlikely to flood with a large amount of foreign Congress unless the situation further worsened like CCP sent in the tanks many getting goes on and then just a few other reactions your only threat is to talking about the DTU case to take away most of Fong Kong’s pensioners aren’t corners who are eligible for BN o must be born before 1997 so the youngest people that can apply are 23 however most of them are probably in their 50s or older so the UK is willing to accept two to three million people close to the retirement age and this this is an interesting comment it says this is not uncontrolled immigration what the UK offered was a path to citizenship not citizenship which the UK should it makes it easier to get a job or education but it doesn’t guarantee you can stay if you don’t work or if you don’t take courses and that’s that that’s the point I was talking about on yesterday’s live stream in more detail in other words this there’s that there’s different ways in which this could be us secured and it’s going to be something I think more than the right the barrier is going to be more than that imposed on EU Nationals in other words in respective you know only being here for long periods if they’re working or studying or financially self-sufficient for example it would be more than that but less than tier 2 and the other thing is you would have to apply to all Hong Kong is or very least all those with beer no status because it’s effectively I saw cause I humanitarian response I’d be odd if it was restricted just on the basis of our economic ground so and another reaction just says this is the right move but it doesn’t go far enough I can think of no compelling reason why any democratic country shouldn’t offer Hong Kong as permanent residency and attract to citizenship every democratic country in the world has the power to unilaterally give Hong Kong is the democratic freedoms that China is taking away from them by allowing them to emigrate and opinion polls show that plenty of Hong Congers want to leave emigrating on mass is also the most damage that the people of Hong Kong reasonably do to China the value of Hong Kong to China is almost entirely as people and capital and neither of those have to be trapped if any other country UK inclusive is willing to set them free by land to freely emigrate permitting them to emigrate wouldn’t be some act of charity on the country’s part either the people of Hong Kong are just as valuable to any country as they are to China unilaterally giving Hong Kong as these rights is both on moral duty and involves no meaningful sacrifice for us there is no reason to keep Hong Kong as pin to China by denying them the right to live and work in free countries and that’s the other point so in order to honour its agreements under the joint declaration I explained in yesterday’s livestream why I think that the UK government haven’t gone further and just said that look if you have BN o status you can register immediately for a British passport instead you have to you know they’ve set up this pathway to citizenship which is likely to just to be you know an additional immigration we’ve but an easier one that would otherwise apply and but one which would result in registering as a as a British citizen at the end of the process and just like just like this the passport by the way here has been updated as now but a navy one from the beginning of this year now but it would be as shown in this in this diagram in indefinite leave to remain so that’s the document that would be received there followed by registration application and that would be through this through this pathway here in other words 12-month renewals leading up to indefinite leave to remain and then registering under Section four two of the British Nationality Act and then just some other reactions here money and face from China’s point of view this is a slap in the face from the UK and China isn’t generally used the country standing up to at the moment saving faces everything to China once I for one I’m happy to see the UK finding its spying again that’s what one reaction was and then another person reacted this the capital and brain flight from the UK has already become full-scale this week in companies looking how they can get their assets in companies out in a hurry if China takes over there will be no law justice just more corruption and then this reaction understand the presidency with Hong Kong being a former colony however I honestly believe all developed and obviously should be doing this fine Kong citizens so I mean this is an emotionally charged situation I don’t endorse any of the views but before they’re right I think they’re interesting particularly comments from the BN o nationals and see how they are reacting and in Sears a range of reactions about whether people would take this up and indeed whether you know it’s a good thing for the UK to have offered it so without commenting on the politics I think that’s a an interesting survey of some of the opinions that have been afford I hope that’s helpful as I say the current position is that you know yeah as a Hong Kong there are a number of options for securing settlement in the UK and we have this new one potentially coming up if you would like a consultation with me I’d be very happy to assist you may contact details are just below you should take legal advice on your particular circumstances and this video is just for information purposes only and I’m doing a number of other videos coming up about this topic so feel free to subscribe and click the notification bell to get notified when I release those videos thank you so much for your time stay safe and I will say bye for now