Immigration Solicitors London

Est. 2002

+44 (0)20 7038 3980

RLegal Solicitors, 162-168 Regent Street London W1B 5TG

RLegal is regulated by the SRA, Reg No: 00380691

Following the Chinese Government’s imposition of tougher national security laws in Hong Kong, the UK has today announced a visa route for up to 250,000 British Overseas Nationals (BNO’s) to come and live in the UK with their dependants with a further 2.5 million eligible to do so.

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, said:

"We made clear that if China continued down this path we would introduce a new route for those with British National (Overseas) status to enter the UK, granting them limited leave to remain with the ability to live and work in the UK and thereafter to apply for citizenship. And that is precisely what we will do now."

A new immigration route will allow BNO’s:

  • to live and work in the UK for up to 5 years through a new visa route
  • apply for ‘settlement’ after 5 years
  • naturalise as a British citizen after a further year.

The new rule will come not come into force for a few months with further details to follow.

The announcement will potentially involve the largest influx of migrants to the UK for many years and coincide with the ending of Free Movement from the European Union on 31 December 2020. The move not only provides BNO’s with an escape route from Hong Kong, but will inject the movement of people with wealth and intelligence, just arguably at a time when the UK needs it. How this will go down with Brexit supporters is another matter.

The move to allow BNO’s to move to the UK stirred up considerable debate under Margaret Thatcher and we can expect more over the coming months. What sets this apart, is this time the UK Government has set out its stall.

We will of course provide further updates on this new immigration visa route for BNO’s living in Hong Kong.

RLegal are a specialist firm of UK immigration lawyers and can provide advice on immigration visa issues relating to BNO’s and assist them with emigrating to the UK at the appropriate time.

We can be contacted by sending an email to, contacting us through our online form or telephoning us on +44 207 038 3980