Need Our Expert Help? Call us +44 (0) 203 178 2048

What is a British National Overseas Visa? 

A British National Overseas Visa, also known as a BNO Visa, allows a British National (Overseas) from Hong Kong to apply for a residence visa to live in the UK with their family members. You can apply for a BNO Visa valid for either 2.5 years or 5 years. The visa allows you and your family to live, work, and study in the UK, with a clear 6-year path to British citizenship.

After 5 years of living continuously in the UK on a BNO Visa, you can apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Visa. Once you have secured your ILR Visa, you can permanently live in the UK with no time limit on your visa. After 12 months, you can apply to become a British citizen.

What are the Eligibility Requirements to Qualify for a British National Overseas Visa?

If you want to secure a British National Overseas Visa to live in the UK with your family members, you can apply if you are:

  • A British National (Overseas) – someone who was a British Overseas Territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong and could register as a British national (overseas) before 1st July 1997.
  • Over 18 years old.
  • Your permanent home must be either in Hong Kong (if you are applying outside the UK) or in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or Hong Kong (if you are applying from within the UK).
  • You must show you have sufficient funds/income to support yourself and any dependents financially without the UK government’s assistance.
  • Your family members can apply with you (if they are eligible – see below), but only if they apply simultaneously. Your family members CANNOT apply for their dependent visas AFTER you get the visa approval.
  • If you are applying for the BNO Visa at the VFS centre in Hong Kong, you must attend an approved clinic to obtain a TB certificate to prove you are free from Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Should you want your family members to join you in the UK as dependents on your BNO Visa, they must apply at the same time as you and be your:

  • Husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner.
  • Child or grandchild under 18.
  • child 18 or older, born on or after 1st July 1997 (and their partner or child under 18).
  • Parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son, or daughter (18 or older) if they live with you and depend on you for their care.

How much does a British National Overseas Visa application cost?

The cost for a British National Overseas Visa depends on the length of the visa. It’s possible to apply for visas valid for either 2.5 years or 5 years.

The current government fees for a BNO Visa valid for 2.5 years are as follows:

  • The Home Office BNO Visa Government fee = £180 per applicant.
  • The NHS Surcharge = £1,560 per adult applicant and £1,175 per child applicant (under 18 years of age).
  • The Biometric appointment fee if applying in the UK. This fee ranges from £65 to £260 per applicant for an appointment at the Premium Service Centre in Central London. Note that the most typical fee for an average appointment across the UK is about £100 per applicant.

The current government fees for a BNO Visa valid for 5 years are as follows:

  • The Home Office Spouse Visa Government fee = £250 per applicant.
  • The NHS Surcharge = £1,560 per adult applicant and £1,175 per child applicant (under 18 years of age).
  • The Biometric appointment fee if applying in the UK. This fee ranges from £65 to £260 per applicant for an appointment at the Premium Service Centre in Central London. Note that the most typical fee for an average appointment across the UK is about £100 per applicant.

The Money You Need to Show to Support Yourself and Your Family

You will need to show that you either:

  • Have enough money to pay for your housing and support your family for 6 months.
  • Will earn enough money to pay for your housing costs and to support you and your family for 6 months.

This can include:

  • Your savings and income, as well as your family member’s income and savings.
  • An offer of help from family and friends.

You do not need to do this if you have already been living in the UK for 12 months when applying for the BNO Visa.

Besides money for housing costs, you will need to show the amount that someone would receive from the British government in Income Support. How much you need depends on how many family members are applying with you. For example:

  • £2,000 for a single adult
  • £3,100 for a couple with a child
  • £4,600 for a couple with 3 children
  • £9,200 for a couple, 2 parents, and 2 adult children