UK Government Stands Firm Over Special Visa For Hong Kong Residents

UK Government Stands Firm Over Special Visa For Hong Kong Residents. image: wikimedia

UK Government Stands Firm Over Special Visa For Hong Kong Residents amid a row with China

This Sunday, January 31, sees Hong Kong residents who have a British National Overseas (BNO) passport, able to apply for the new special UK visa, which was agreed with the Chinese Government in July 2020 after China passed a new security law.

An estimated 300,000 Hong Kongers are expected to take advantage of the visa, which can be applied for via a smartphone, amid criticism from the Chinese foreign ministry, who say they will no longer accept the BNO as a valid travel document in China.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “We have been clear that we will not look the other way when it comes to Hong Kong people with British National Overseas status, who now have a choice to come and live and work and study in the UK”.

He added, “And it remains the case that BNOs and their families can use documentation other than BNO passports to travel and enter the UK”, while a spokesman for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said they were “disappointed but not surprised” by China’s decision not to recognise BNO passports.

Zhao Lijian, from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said during his daily briefing, “Apart from serving its political agenda, the move of the British side will also bring huge economic interests to the country. While the UK may be in dire need of talents and capital, it should not have made use of the BNO passport as a ‘political cover-up'”.

He added, “The attempt to turn a large number of Hong Kong people into second-class British citizens has completely changed the nature of the two sides’ original understanding of BNO”.


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at