The couple have British National (Overseas) - or BNO - passports, which were issued to Hong Kong residents that registered before the city was handed back to China on July 1997. While the UK offers up to 3 million Hong Kong residents the right to work and a pathway to future British citizenship, the country itself is facing serious unemployment problems amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Vincent and Chrissy, who have previously moved from Hong Kong to the UK, said the latest UK citizenship proposal for BNO passport holders was very generous and much more attractive than the previously proposed 12-month visa extension scheme. Read more: Backgrounder: What is the BNO passport? /AP. Besides, over 2.9 million people are eligible for a BNO passport, as per the British Consulate General in Hong Kong. Both HKSAR and BNO passports grant holders six-month visa-free travel to the UK. London recently announced that Hong Kong residents holding British National Overseas (BNO) passports can come to Britain and seek citizenship after a five-year period, a plan which Beijing has expressed firm opposition to. The organisation says the prospective BNO visa holders provide the UK “a fresh workforce that has good qualifications, work experience and is largely self-reliant.”Â. "If the British side makes unilateral changes to the relevant practice, it will breach its own position and pledges as well as international law and basic norms governing international relations," the spokesperson said. Data from the UK National Statistics office shows the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose to 2.8 million in May, the highest since 1993. Around 300,000 people currently hold a BNO passport, allowing them to visit the UK visa-free for six months. Experts predict this number could surge to 3.5 million this year as a result of the pandemic. "I don't think that the government has actually thought through its policy in Hong Kong and what would it means if these three million people were coming into Britain," Ben Chacko, a British political commentator and editor of the Morning Star, told CGTN. "If they (the British government) are so concerned about protecting people, there are lots of refugees that they could be taking in," he said. On 28 May 2020, the UK government announced that it would offer a ‘pathway to citizenship’ to British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong if China goes ahead with its plans to implement a controversial new security law in the territory. A survey has found that 93 per cent of British National Overseas (BNO) status holders in Hong Kong intend to emigrate to the UK within three years, as Britain begins a passport visa scheme next month. China accepted BNO passports as "travel documents" only, and it was agreed that BNO passports would state that the holder has the right of abode in … China has strongly rebuked the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada after being accused of a concerted effort to silence critics in Hong Kong. It is taking longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19). "I think they just picked a number out in the air in order to annoy the Chinese government without thinking through the consequences of what they are doing," Chacko added. The majority of the survey's respondents say they are emigrating for safety and freedom as they no longer see Hong Kong as safe or free after the passing of the National Security Law. Hong Kong: 'Eyes will be plucked out,' China warns West. There are currently around 300,000 BNO passport holders in Hong Kong and a further 2.5 to 2.7 million people are eligible to apply for one. The two were forced to apply for asylum […] The British National Overseas (BNO) passport. ... 24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events. (With input from Xinhua), Copyright © 2020 CGTN. Live. But according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's offer, BNO passport holders from Hong Kong would be able to apply to work in the UK before gaining citizenship. The changes could potentially affect up to 3 million people in Hong Kong. A simple guide to how leaving the EU will affect travel to Europe. The latest breaking news, ... Buying a second passport is the latest investment trend for the wealth. Travel document without citizenship rights. The UK said it will expand the visa-free access of Hong Kong's BNO passport holders from six months to five years and give them the right to work and study in Britain during that period. The BNO passport is essentially a travel document that does not carry citizenship rights with it - although you are entitled to some consular assistance outside of Hong Kong and China with it. "The UK is ready to welcome BNO citizens and their dependents to the UK," the British official said. The BNO visa scheme allows holders and their dependents the right to remain in the UK. Critics say the strain on the country's job system would be too great. עדכוני חדשות, מבזקים ותעופה מישראל ובעולם, מלונאות, טיסות, דילים, מבצעי נופש לחו"ל כל מה שקורה וכל מה שמעניין רק ב Passport News. The BNO passport is basically a travel document that does not carry citizenship rights. Shows. Video. News & Advice. The group Hongkongers in Britain (HKB) polled 315 people in a survey from September 2 to October 1 and found among the 93 per cent, 45 per cent plan to apply as soon as the scheme starts in January. Hong Kong Watch launched the BNO Community in March 2019, aiming to provide a platform for BNO advocacy groups and our subscribers to share ideas and proposals on the rights of BNO. This rose to more than 400,000 in August, with more than 200,000 passport applications waiting to be processed. “We estimate that the number of BNO visa applications within 2021 will double the number of the Home Office’s Impact Assessment highest estimation,” HKB stated in its report. Searches for “BNO passport” rose similarly after the news from Beijing, suggesting any interest among many in renewing the limited edition travel document. Hong Kong residents renewed or applied for British National (Overseas) passports in record numbers last year as anti-government protests erupted in … There were nearly 350,000 BNO passport holders in Hong Kong in February. ... 24/7 coverage of breaking news … China opposes UK's citizenship offer to Hong Kong residents. If you’re overseas and need to travel urgently, you may be able to get an emergency travel document. HKB has forecast the number of applicants is potentially higher and faster than the Home Office’s highest estimates in its Impact Assessment estimation in October. A Hong Kong protester holds up the British National (Overseas) passports, MI6 failed to tell Foreign Secretary about rogue agent involved in 'serious criminality', Dominic Cummings received pay rise of 40 per cent last year, sparking angry backlash, Black applicants significantly more likely to fail RAF selection tests than white counterparts, Stop wasting billions on testing. Proposed changes to the BNO passport policy Currently, BNO passport holders are allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months as a visitor. The announcement came after the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) took effect on Tuesday. 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