The British National Overseas visa as a new immigration route for Hongkongers

A new type of visa has been introduced by the UK government which enables British National (Overseas) (BNO) status holders from Hong Kong to live, work and study in the United Kingdom. The BNO Visa route is available to anyone who is an ordinary resident in Hong Kong and their eligibility is not subject to a proof of a valid BNO passport.

BNO Visa holders have to accumulate a period of 5 years as UK residents in order to be able to apply for an indefinite leave to remain (equivalent to settlement) and to potentially acquire British Citizenship after additional 12 months.

Citizenship by Investment in Bulgaria

Citizenship by Investment in Bulgaria is available to all non-EU citizens.

The procedure could be initiated by the investors as long as they make a qualifying investment. There is an opportunity for a second investment to be made in order to accelerate the process.

Citizenship by Investment programme is rather flexible considering that it also offers a variety of investment classes for applicants to choose from. Another benefit is that investors are not required to reside in Bulgaria (though they could).

The process takes from 2 to 6 years and ends with the issue of a Bulgarian Citizenship Certificate that allows the investor to get a Bulgarian passport and to benefit from.

British Nationals Overseas visa vs Citizenship by Investment in Bulgaria

 CBIBNO
Who can benefit from CBI and BNO?All non-EU citizensHong Kong nationals
How long does it take? Is it compulsory to be a resident of the country?2-6 years without spending time in Bulgaria6 years of continuous residence in the UK
Is making an investment necessary?YESNO

The BNO visas allow Hongkongers to retain a form of British nationality and to potentially acquire citizenship. The process is rather restrictive and requires continuous residence in the territory of the United Kingdom. In contrast, the CBI procedure is more accessible in terms of eligibility criteria, residence requirements and time to acquire citizenship.       

Should you have any queries regarding the Citizenship by Investment option, the Citizenship Insight team will be happy to assist you.

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