British National Overseas (BNO) Visa

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For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767


The UK government has created a new immigration route in response to the enactment of National Security legislation in Hong Kong. Here’s everything you need to know about the British National Overseas (BNO) visa, including who is eligible and how to apply.
To speak to one of our solicitors about how to make an application for British National Overseas (BNO) vis, Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

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British National Overseas (BNO) visa

Existing UK immigration rules allow British Nationals Overseas (BNO) citizens to enter the United Kingdom for an initial period of six months, but this is subject to a requirement not to work or study.

This new bespoke route, open for applications from 31 January 2021, will enable BNO citizens and their families, who are ordinary resident in the UK or Hong Kong, to live, work, study and eventually settle in the UK.

This visa route will allow BNO status holders and their family members to apply for permission to enter and stay in the UK. Applications can be made by:

  • BNO status holders
  • Partners of BNO status holders
  • Children or grandchildren (under the age of 18) of BNO status holders or their partner. Grandchildren must be part of the same household as the BNO status holder
  • Adult children (born on or after 1 July 1997) of BNO status holders or the status holder’s partner, and the adult child’s partner or children (under the age of 18)
  • Adult dependent relatives of BNO status holders including parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter (where they require long term care from the BNO status holder)
  • Any applicant in the above categories must form part of the same household as the BNO citizen.

What are the requirements for a British National Overseas (BNO) visa?

Applicants will need to:

  • meet the suitability requirements. This requirement can be affected by criminality or immigration issues.
  • be able to demonstrate that they are a BNO status holder, or an appropriate relation of the BNO status holder, sharing the same household; and
  • be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, if applying for entry clearance.
  • be ordinarily resident in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man or Hong Kong, if applying for permission to stay.
  • provide evidence that they are free from tuberculosis (where applicable).
  • Prove they can adequately maintain and accommodate themselves (and any dependants) without recourse to public funds (this requirement is automatically met where they have been living in the UK for 12 months before applying).
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What conditions are attached to a British National Overseas (BNO) visa?

A BNO visa will allow you to:

  • Live in the UK
  • Work (including self-employment and voluntary work, except for employment as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach); and
  • study in the UK.

You will not be able to access public funds during your time in the UK as a BNO visa holder.

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How long is the British National Overseas (BNO) visa valid for?

You can choose whether you would like to apply for a 2.5-year (30 month) or 5-year visa under this category.

The application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge are payable and will vary depending on which length of visa you apply for.

After you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years in this category (or for 5 years with permission to stay in a mixture of permitted categories), you may be eligible to apply for settlement under this route. At this stage, you will need to provide evidence to show that you meet the qualifying period of 5 years, the English language requirement and evidence your knowledge of Life in the UK.

How we can help

If you’re applying for a BNO visa from abroad or within the UK, it’s critical that you enlist expert legal support from the very beginning. That’s why the Latitude Law team is on hand right from the earliest stages of application. We’ll make sure that you are eligible for this visa and that you submit the right documentation to give you the best chance of success with your visa applications. Our reputation and expertise mean Latitude Law is recognised as a leading immigration law firm, and our guidance can give you the best possible chance of securing you a BNO visa for you and if applicable for your family.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

Why choose Latitude Law?

We understand how challenging it can be to navigate the process of applying for the BNO visa in the UK. That is why our team of experienced solicitors, who have many years of experience in immigration law, will do everything they can to help your BNO visa application be successful.

We are pleased to be recognised as a leading law firm by the following independent bodies: The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024, Legal 500 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024. These endorsements from the international legal directories demonstrate our integrity and success in dealing with difficult cases. We are also proud of our 5-star Google reviews from over 150 satisfied clients.

Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Let our legal experts take the uncertainty out of applying for BNO visa, so you can start your successful journey to the UK today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I extend my BNO visa?

Yes, it is possible to extend the BNO visa in country if the eligibility requirements are still met.

What should I do if my application is refused?

Refusal of a BNO application, whether for entry clearance or for permission to stay, does not carry the right of appeal , bit if you feel the Home Office made a mistake with the decision then you can request an administrative review of the refusal decision. If your application has been refused then contact Latitude Law to discuss your next options.

Can the BNO visa route lead to settlement?

It is possible to apply to settle on the BNO visa route after completing 5 years’ continuous residence with leave in this category. Applicants must satisfy suitability requirements and demonstrate English Language proficiency at minimum Level B1, and meet various other eligibility requirements depending on the particular category in which they apply.

Can I bring family members on the BNO visa?

Yes, various family members can apply with, or to join, the status holder; this includes partners, household children, adult children who are members of the household along with their own partners and children, and adult dependent relatives.

Can I switch to another visa category?

Yes, you can switch in country.

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Contact us

As the requirements for applying for the BNO visa are complex, to ensure success, you should seek specialist advice from an immigration solicitor before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist lawyers can advise you about your individual requirements and ensure that your supporting documentation is compliant with the very latest immigration rules.

Get in touch with our legal team today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Face your future knowing you have the dedicated support of one of our expert lawyers.

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For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

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