25 February 2022
Today, the UK Government has announced its intention to expand the BNO Visa Scheme in October 2022 for those Hong Kongers born on or after 1997 who have one BNO parent. This will allow young Hong Kongers to directly register for the scheme.
This is in line with the provisions in Damian Green MP’s amendment to the Nationality and Borders Bill, which was re-introduced by Hong Kong Watch patrons Lord Alton and Lord Patten, as well as Lord Falconer and the Bishop of St Albans in the House of Lords.
In a written ministerial statement, the Immigration Minister, Kevin Foster MP, outlines measures to address the current gap in the BNO Visa Scheme, said:
“It is right and important to address this so the Government has made the decision to enable individuals aged 18 or over who were born on or after 1 July 1997 and who have at least one BN(O) parent to apply to the route independently of their BN(O) parent.”
The statement announced that the Government will be introducing these changes in October. The full written statement can be found here: Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament
Hong Kong Watch’s Chief Executive Officer, Benedict Rogers, said:
“We are delighted that the Government has taken the bold and moral step to expand the BNO Visa for those brave young Hong Kongers who are not currently covered by the scheme.
Hong Kong Watch has made this call for nearly two years and are pleased that Ministers have now taken this important step to plug the gap in the policy.
We greatly appreciated the parliamentary and civil society alliance that has stood with the people of Hong Kong to ensure the Government lived up to its historic, legal, and moral obligations to help those most in need of a lifeline out of the city.”