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Relocating to the UK from Hong Kong – British National (Overseas) Visa

In July 2020, the UK government introduced a new visa scheme that would allow a unique immigration route for British National overseas citizens to relocate to the UK in response to the draconian National Security law Beijing imposed on the Asian financial hub. The British government says that the security law violates the terms of agreements under which Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997. 

With this special opportunity, millions of Hongkongers with British National (Overseas) status and their dependents can build a new life in the UK. Successful applicants can stay and work in the UK for either 30 months or five years. After the five-year period is over, they can apply for settlement and after one further year for British citizenship. 

According to the government’s evaluations, around half a million people from Hong Kong are expected to relocate to the UK in this year and over one million within the next five years. However, these numbers are expected to be higher as these estimates where first published in October. Since the national security law was launched, a large number of wealthy Hongkongers have invested in the UK with a major focus in property investment. 

Hongkongers in Britain, an expatriate association based in the UK conducted a survey of hundreds of Hongkongers and estimates that over 600,000 people will apply for the visa within the next two years. The survey revealed that 93% intend to apply for the visa – 70% in 2021 and 80% in 2022. 


According to, the requirements to apply for the British National (Overseas) visa are: 

  • Hold a British National (Overseas) status 
  • Your permanent home must be: 
    • in Hong Kong, if you’re applying from outside the UK 
    • in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Hong Kong if you’re applying within the UK 
  • have enough money to support yourself and your family for 6 months 
  • Tuberculosis test certificate 
  • Evidence of your relationship with family members 

How can CORNERSTONE help?

Relocating from Hong Kong to the UK has never been more appealing. At Cornerstone, our talented people supported by our innovative tech will make your journey from Hong Kong to the UK a smooth one. We understand the challenges you may face and through the breadth of the services we offer, we aim to provide reliable, practical support and solutions to make your relocation a seamless and fun experience! 

From arranging your visa to finding you a home, supporting with schooling, applying for a bank account, familiarising you with the UK, organizing your NINo, registering for a GP, spousal support or even buying a homeCornerstone have every aspect covered! 

Let us make a difference, contact us to find out how. 


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