Your Questions Answered on the BN(O) Visa – Dependents

By 20th November 2020 No Comments

UK Home Office Releases Statement of Changes

On 22 October 2020, the UK Home Office has released its Statement of Changes to the new Immigration Rules. This introduces us to the latest rules for the new BN(O) visa route which opens for applications on 31 January 2021.

A BN(O) citizen is a person registered as a BN(O) citizen on or after 1 July 1997 under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986. If you are a dependent or related to a BN(O) citizen, you might be eligible to apply for BN(O) visa. In this case you can move to the UK with them.

Questions on eligibility:

Many clients are asking us about their eligibility for the BN(O) visa as a dependent of a BN(O) citizen:

  • Which dependents of a BN(O) citizen are eligible for the BN(O) visa?
  • Is an adult dependent relative of a BN(O) citizen eligible for the BN(O) visa?
  • Can adult children of BN(O) citizens apply and bring their children under BN(O) route?
  • Can I apply for the BN(O) visa if my parents / grandparents are BN(O) citizens?
  • What is the requirement for BN(O) dependents?
  • Who are considered BN(O) Household members?
  • Can I bring my other relatives to the UK if they don’t live with me?
  • What is the difference between the BN(O) Status Holder and the BN(O) Household Member?
  • Will the dependent of a BN(O) citizen be eligible for settlement / British citizenship after 5 years?

What are the visa routes for dependents?

If you are a dependent or related to a BN(O) citizen, there are two distinct BN(O) visa routes available – the “BN(O) Status Holder Dependent” or the “BN(O) Household Member”.


BN(O) Status Holder route and their dependents family members  

The BN(O) Status Holder route is for the BN(O) citizens themselves (“Main Applicant”). Indeed, they are allowed to bring their dependent family members.

As a family member, you may fall under any of the following three categories

Dependent partner

  • To be considered as a dependent partner, you will need to be the spouse/civil partner or an unmarried partner. Moreover, you will have lived with the Main Applicant for at least two years. The relationship with the spouse or partner must be genuine and subsisting.

BN(O) Household Child (or grandchild)

  • The BN(O) Household Child is suitable for the Main Applicant’s children or grandchildren. The children or grandchildren must apply for the BN(O) visa at the same time as the Main Applicant. This will be their parent or grandparent. Furthermore, they must form part of the same household on the date of application. Therefore, the Main Applicant cannot migrate to the UK first, then subsequently obtain the BN(O) visa for children or grandchildren.

BN(O) Adult Dependent Relative

  • To be considered a BN(O) Adult Dependent Relative, you must above the age of 18. Additionally, you must be a relative of the Main Applicant, including parents, grandparents, siblings, or children. However, you must not be in a subsisting relationship with a partner. This is unless the partner is also a BN(O) Status Holder and is also applying for entry clearance. Furthermore, you must be dependent on the Main Applicant for certain criteria.  These relate to age, illness, or disability requiring long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks. Also if they are unable to obtain the required level of help in Hong Kong. Unless you are the parent or grandparent of the Main Applicant, you must be in the Main Applicant’s household.


 Household Member route and their dependent family members

BN(O) Household Member route is for adult children of BN(O) citizens. In this case it applies to those born on or after 1 July 1997. It also applies to their dependent family members, provided they all form part of the same household as the BN(O) citizen. Also, they are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong or the UK. If they normally live together, they will be considered as being from the same household.

  • For children over the age of 18 and born on or after 1 July 1997
  • If they normally live together, they will be deemed to form part of the same household

Those who meet the BN(O) Household Member criteria can bring their own dependent partner, spouse and children. However, only children under age 18 are permitted. No grandchildren will be allowed to apply under this route.

Below is a diagram to summarise the two distinct visa routes for your convenience:

For more information:

If you need guidance regarding the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa ‘eligibility, please contact our experienced immigration solicitors.  Call today on +4420 7427 5972 or [email protected].

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