Britain stated Wednesday it’s going to open a path to acquiring UK citizenship for as much as three million eligible Hong Kongers as of January.
The immigration rules have been modified after Beijing imposed a brand new nationwide safety legislation on Hong Kong. About 350,000 Hong Kong residents maintain British National Overseas passports, a legacy of the colonial period. In July, the UK introduced it was extending residency rights for some 2.9 million individuals eligible for the BNO passport in Hong Kong.
“Today’s announcement shows the UK is keeping its word: We will not look the other way on Hong Kong, and we will not duck our historic responsibilities to its people”, overseas decretary Dominic Raab stated.
“We are planning to open the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa for applications from January 2021”, inside minister Priti Patel stated on Wednesday.
“There will be no skills tests or minimum income requirements, economic needs tests or caps on numbers. I am giving BN(O) citizens the opportunity to acquire full British citizenship. They do not need to have a job before coming to the UK – they can look for work once here. They may bring their immediate dependants, including non-BN(O) citizens”, she added.
Patel stated BNO standing “recognised the special and enduring ties the UK has with those people as a result of our role in Hong Kong before 1997”. “Now that China, through its actions, has changed the circumstances that BN(O) citizens find themselves in, it is right that we change the entitlements which are attached to BN(O) status”, she stated.
“The Chinese side urges the UK side to recognize the fact that Hong Kong is part of China, have a right and objective understanding on the National Security Law for Hong Kong, immediately correct its mistakes and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs”, a Chinese embassy spokesperson stated.