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Tags Current Affairs

UK’s offer to Hong Kong’s British passport holders

Date: 05 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


The UK government said that if China follows through with its new national security law, the government will explore options to allow BN(O)s to apply for leave to stay in the UK, for an extendable period of up to 12 months if eligible.



 Currently, Hong Kong citizens with BN(O)s have the right to enter the UK for six months as a visitor. The UK may offer British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong a path to live and work in the UK soon.



  • The Chinese legislature approved a national security law that proposes to ban seditious activities targeting mainland Chinese rule. Under this law, Hong Kong could be brought under the full control of mainland Chinese rule.

  • Hong Kong, which was a former British colony, was handed over to China in 1997 when it became one of its Special Administrative Regions. It is governed by a mini-constitution called the Basic Law, which affirms the principle of “one country, two systems”.

  • The constitutional document is a product of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, under which China promised to honour Hong Kong’s liberal policies, a system of governance, an independent judiciary, and individual freedoms for a period of 50 years from 1997.

  • British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on June 30, 1997, became British overseas citizens on July 1, 1997.

  • Essentially, these passports are issued to those born in Hong Kong before the 1997 handover and as per the current rules, BN(O) passport holders can visit the UK for a period of six months without a visa.

  • Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom. The international community has a significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.

  • Direct imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the Beijing authorities, rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions of the Basic Law, would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous.

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