MPs table plans to permit children of Hong Kong BNO citizens to apply for UK visas

A group of cross-party MPs have forwarded an amendment to the Nationality and Borders Bill which aims to enable people from Hong Kong with at least one parent who is a British national (overseas) to apply for a BNO visa.

The amendment is supported by former cabinet minister Damien Green and chairman of the foreign affairs committee Tom Tugendhat.

British National Overseas (BNO) citizenship is a form of British nationality introduced in 1985 that Hong Kong residents could apply for prior to the 1997 handover.

It is a lifelong status which cannot be passed down to family members.

Previously no special rights were available for those with BNO citizenship, asides from the ability to visit the UK for six months without a visa.

However since 31 January 2021 BNO citizens and their immediate family have been able to apply for two periods of five years to reside and be employed in the UK.

This comes after years of extensive and violent political repression in Hong Kong, as Beijing tightens its grip on the former British territory.

Luke de Pulford, a human rights campaigner who coordinates the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, praised the plans via Twitter: