UK offers new visas to Hong Kong citizens – International

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Hong Kong citizens who have a “British Overseas Passport” will be able to apply for visas to live and work in the UK from Sunday, said the British government, which had promised the measure as part of its confrontation with Beijing for freedoms in this area. former country, British colony.

Until now, residents of the territory that London brought back to China in 1997 were only allowed to travel to the UK for six months, without a work permit.

But with these visas, you can stay for five years and apply for UK citizenship later.

“I am very proud that we have opened this new path for the citizens of Hong Kong to live, work and settle in our country,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

This extension “pays homage to our deep historical and friendly ties with the people of Hong Kong,” added the leader, who boasts of “defending”, as well, “freedom and autonomy, values ​​in which the United Kingdom and Hong Kong are tied. “.

The British government had promised the change in July 2020, in response to China’s imposition of a new national security law on Hong Kong, seen as “a clear and serious violation” of the conditions of the setback, the government said. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab.

Holders of “British Overseas Passports” and “qualifying family members” will be able to apply for a five-year visa for 250 pounds ($ 340) from Sunday.

However, each person, adult or minor, will have to pay between £ 3,120 and £ 2,350 to benefit from UK public health.

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There are 350,000 “British Overseas Passport” holders, a figure that nearly doubled in Hong Kong a year and a half ago. Another 2.9 million Hong Kong residents, all born before 1997, can opt for this document.

London estimates that the new system could attract as many as 322,400 of them in five years.

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