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UK: 3M BNO To Be Offered Citizenship Path

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  1. #341

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Hong Kong
    Posts
    580
    Quote Originally Posted by stickyears:
    No, the UK government BN(O) info is very clear. Don't confuse the BN(O) passport with BN(O) status
    This part is understood... hence the distinction between BN(O) passport and visa. The two GOV.UK links are fairly clear, but what throws me off is the paragraph:

    British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997 became British overseas citizens on 1 July 1997.
    - which almost suggests an automatic conversion to BN(O) status for everyone in Hong Kong at the time, who had no other nationality or citizenship.

    That and general discussions in local media in the earlier days of mass BNO visa migration, which gave me the impression that many were eligible even if they never applied for BNO passports. But as I say, I could well be wrong as I didn't read much into it at the time as it didn't concern me.

    The pamphlet you linked I had not seen before, nor indeed the Home Office visa policy statement of July 2020, specifically:

    People could apply for BN(O) status for a period of ten years prior to the handover to China on 1st July 1997. It is not possible to apply for BN(O) status now.
    Hence the confusion, at least at my end.

    Scouring the local web, I came across this page (amongst several) which might be of interest (Google Translated to English for convenience). Of particular interest was this bit:

    He was born in Hong Kong before 1997, but neither he nor his parents have applied for BNO! But through the following free methods, I found out that I have the qualification to apply for BNO.
    But then I also came across support groups for frustrated offspring of pre-handover parents who refused to apply a BNO for them before the handover. (Some of those parents sound very delightful, to put it politely). Another article which suggests that it's only possible if a parent had BN(O) status and said child was < 16 at the time and listed in that passport. Assuming parents of pre-1997 kids traveled abroad, and therefore needed a passport, I'd assume quite a few kids might fit in this category? Possibly another source of confusion on this matter, with some kids being eligible and others not.

    Perhaps it's worth writing to the HMPO email address cited anyways to check... as the article says, that won't cost anything so there's no loss in asking.

  2. #342

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    3,086
    Quote Originally Posted by tparker:
    This part is understood... hence the distinction between BN(O) passport and visa. The two GOV.UK links are fairly clear, but what throws me off is the paragraph:
    Again, it's having BN(O) *status* that counts, not the passport. You must be a BN(O) (or dependant of one who is applying) to apply for the BN(O) visa. Some people have thought there's an automatic right because the UK accepts HKSAR passports as "proof", but those are just for ID so they can check the records to see if you are a BN(O) without the need to apply for a BN(O) passport - for once UKgov gets rid of some red tape to simplify the process.

    - which almost suggests an automatic conversion to BN(O) status for everyone in Hong Kong at the time, who had no other nationality or citizenship.
    All HKers of Chinese descent become Chinese nationals on 1 July 1997 automatically. The above was for any non-Chinese (think descendants of SE Asians and others who had come to HK over the decades) who would have otherwise become stateless and so are guaranteed some form of passport. I assume all of those have now got some nationality or BN(O). I think I recall Michael Chugani saying he fell into that category before becoming a US citizen to upgrade from BN(O) to a better passport.

    If I was wrong, there would be no need for me to get non-BN(O) HKers normal employment visas for the UK.
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  3. #343

    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Posts
    4

    To #341:

    1. British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) and British Overseas Citizen (BOC) are two separate classes of (quasi-)British nationalities. They are not synonymous.

    2. Ethnic Chinese resident in HK and born in China (including HK, either before or after the handover) have always been regarded, either before or after the handover, as Chinese nationals by mainland China. The UK acknowledges this position. Hence most HK Chinese were not people who "had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997."

    3. All people with the BN(O) status applied for and received their first BN(O) passports before the handover or right thereafter (for people born very close to the handover) (or were listed as minor children in their BN(O) parents' BN(O) passports). It is not possible to apply for the first BN(O) passport after the handover (save for the exception mentioned above). If someone's name has never appeared in a BN(O) passport, s/he does not have the BN(O) status. Period. Once acquired the status is valid for life unless renounced, even though the BN(O) passport may be allowed to expire and not renewed.

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  4. #344

    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by ndt:
    As far as i know, your understanding is correct, those who did not apply for BNO before 1997 can not apply now. Otherwise it would practically make 90% of HK eligible for BNO (i.e. Anybody with HKPR before 97) and not the 3M something that UK estimated!!!
    There were non-British (non-BDTC to be specific, BDTC=British Dependent Territories Citizen) HKPRs before 1997 just as there are non-Chinese HKPRs now. A significant portion of pre-1997 HKPRs were non-British (mainly migrants from the mainland) and they were not eligible to register for the BN(O) status directly (although they could first naturalize as BDTC and then register for BN(O)). Therefore there are actually two groups of people among pre-1997 HKPRs that do not have the BN(O) status: those who were BDTCs in connection with HK but failed to register for BN(O) before the handover and those who were non-British. If the registration for the BN(O) status is to reopen now, another can of worms will be opened: Should the non-British pre-1997 HKPRs be eligible?
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