Your Questions Answered on the BN(O) Visa – Residence Requirement

By 9th October 2020 October 19th, 2020 No Comments

If you are a Hong Kong resident planning to apply for a BN(O) visa, you must have come across the list of requirements for this visa route.

Below is a helpful summary of the requirements:

  • Have a BN(O) status
  • Normally live in Hong Kong
  • Capable of accommodating and supporting yourself financially in the UK for at least 6 months
  • Show a commitment to learning English, where appropriate
  • Get a Tuberculosis (TB) test certificate from a clinic approved by the UK Home Office
  • Pay a fee for the visa
  • Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge
  • Have no serious criminal conviction

Among the list, there is a requirement to ‘normally live in Hong Kong’. The UK Home Office does not clearly define how exactly you can satisfy this requirement and decide this on a case-by-case basis.

Therefore, many clients are asking us the following questions:

  • What does ‘ordinarily resident’ in Hong Kong mean?
  • Have I met the residence in Hong Kong requirement to be eligible for the BN(O) visa?
  • How do I prove my usual residence in Hong Kong for the BN(O) visa?
  • I am not sure if the Home Office will accept my residence documents, what do I need to get?
  • What if all my documents in my spouse’s or relatives’ name? How can I confirm my residence in Hong Kong?
  • What if I am already in the UK? Do I still need to show that I ordinarily live in Hong Kong?

The ‘residence requirement’ means that you have to be ordinarily a resident in Hong Kong. However, if you are currently in the UK, but you are ordinarily a resident in Hong Kong, you would have met this requirement too.

During the application process for your BN(O) visa, you will need to prove that you have met the Hong Kong residence requirement with the following documents:

  • Your Hong Kong identity card
  • Your Hong Kong medical card
  • Letter from your employer confirming your employment
  • Letter from your education provider confirming your study
  • Your voter’s card
  • Visa or residence permit or other official immigration documents
  • Educational record, such as a school report
  • Tax Records
  • Records of rental or mortgage payments
  • Your household bills

However, the list of evidence provided above is not exhaustive. If you have a document that is not one of the documents given in the list above, it may still be accepted by the UK Home Office in support of your ‘residence requirement’ for your BN(O) visa application. For example, if you have most of the documents in your spouse or other relative’s name, you may be able to request or get other documents showing your residence in Hong Kong.

If you need guidance regarding the Hong Kong residence requirement or your eligibility for the BN(O) application, please contact our experienced immigration solicitors today on 020 7427 5970 or [email protected].

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