Information for local authorities and others who are working with British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders arriving from Hong Kong via the UK government’s BN(O) route.
This resource aims to provide answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and information for local authorities and others who are working with British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders arriving from Hong Kong via the UK government’s BN(O) route.
See further information and associated application process on the BN(O) route which launched on 31 January 2021.
This resource will be updated, as a repository for good practice and learning. Should you have any comments, suggestions, useful materials and/or case studies to share (or additional FAQs that you think should be included here) please email: email@example.com.
Supporting new arrivals
Local authorities are already playing a key role in working with local partners and communities to ensure those on the BN(O) route are welcomed and given help and support to successfully integrate in their new communities.
Local authorities and their partners in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector have extensive experience of welcoming new arrivals to live and work in their area. While those on the BN(O) route will, in some instances, require specific support, we recognise the wealth of local experience in delivering successful integration programmes that already exists. We have therefore provided links to best practice and resources available under the ‘Resources’ section.
We want to continue to work with local authorities and communities as the programme develops. More information on how we will engage is detailed below.
Please note that some of this information applies to England only. Where this is the case, it has been highlighted under each section.
Hong Kong UK Welcome Programme – summary
An immigration route opened on 31 January 2021, providing British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders from Hong Kong and their eligible dependants with the opportunity to come to the UK to live, study and work, on a pathway to citizenship.
This route reflects the UK’s historic and moral commitment to those people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status at the point of Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997.
On 30 November 2022, a change to the BN(O) visa route was announced which will allow some adult children of BN(O) status holders to apply to the route independently from their BN(O) parent. Further information is available. This includes those who:
- have at least one BN(O) parent
- were born on or after 1 July 1997 and are aged 18 years or over and
- are currently resident in Hong Kong, the UK or the Crown Dependencies
In order to be eligible, these individuals will need to meet all eligibility and suitability requirements for the route, but this will no longer include a need for this cohort to apply with their BN(O) parent or be a member of the same household.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is leading delivery of a funded national ‘Welcome Programme’ to support those on the BN(O) route and their families to help them to successfully settle in their new communities.
The Welcome Programme has the following elements:
- demand-led funding for local authorities in England to support BN(O) status holders and their families with English language and destitution support
- an online Welcome Pack providing all those on the BN(O) route with information on how to access services and understand life in the UK, with similar resources for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- a network of 12 Welcome Hubs across the whole of the UK to prepare for the arrival of those on the BN(O) route, established using the existing infrastructure of the Strategic Migration Partnerships (SMPs)
- national and regional voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) funds to deliver 42 projects that provide mental health and employability support as well as broader social integration activities
- funding to deliver a reporting and support service for those on the BN(O) route and all other East and Southeast Asian communities in the UK who experience racism or any forms of hate
The aims of the ‘Welcome Programme’ are:
- enabling those on the BN(O) route to fully contribute economically and socially to life in the UK, enriching our society
- enabling those on the BN(O) route to feel part of UK society, able to mix confidently with people of all backgrounds and provide a positive contribution to the UK and where they settle, including through speaking English well
- providing support to both resident communities and those on the BN(O) route to feel safe and welcome, including by ensuring that any hate crime is tackled in a timely way, with follow-up support offered
- ensuring that any instances of destitution for those on the BN(O) route is minimised and addressed through effective support services
What are your plans for the provision of future funding for the Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) Welcome Programme?
In March 2023, DLUHC announced the continuation of its Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Programme for 2023/24. This includes continued demand-led funding for local authorities in England for English language and destitution support where needed, alongside further funding for Welcome Hubs and VCSE organisations.
We will continue to work with local partners including local authorities, SMPs and VCSE organisations to support BN(O) visa holders and their dependents on the BN(O) route.
As more BN(O) status holders move to the UK, further data will be gathered on their needs and characteristics. We will keep our plans under review for future financial years.
Why is the government providing funding for a BN(O) UK Welcome Programme?
Previous programmes run by DLUHC, such as the Controlling Migration Fund and the Syrian Resettlement Programme, have demonstrated the importance of putting in place a support package for new migrants to enable them to settle into their new communities more effectively. DLUHC is also undertaking work to support those from Afghanistan and Ukraine.
If new migrants can integrate with the settled community, speak English, use services and be economically active, this significantly reduces pressures on local services (including housing where people are at risk of destitution) and minimises negative impacts on community cohesion and tensions.
Demand-led English language and destitution funding (England only)
What do you mean by supporting access to English language provision?
It will be for each local authority to decide what assistance can be provided to those on the BN(O) route who require support to learn English or improve their English language ability.
The ambition is for local authorities making claims for this funding to build upon existing English language infrastructure in place within their local area, through collaboration with community groups and English language providers already established within their local area.
Funding has also been made available for the VCSE sector to deliver regional, community led projects across the 9 regions of England. Many of these offer English language support as part of their projects.
What do you mean by ‘destitution support’?
It will be for each local authority to decide what assistance can be provided to BN(O) status holders and their families based upon an individual assessment of a person or household’s status, circumstances, and support needs. Where a local authority considers that assistance is appropriate, the local authority should satisfy itself that support provided is within the law.
Can local authorities claim for support provided to people who are not BN(O) status holders or on the BN(O) route but are from Hong Kong?
The funding is available for support provided to BN(O) status holders and their dependents who are on the BN(O) route.
Funding does not cover those who have BN(O) status but have entered the UK through other immigration routes, such as through the points-based system, the youth mobility scheme, student visas or as a visitor. Similarly, the funding cannot be claimed for support provided to those currently seeking asylum in the UK.
It also does not cover individuals who have been granted ‘Leave Outside the Rules’ until they have made a successful application to the BN(O) route.
How much funding is available?
Funding of up to £850 per adult is available to support access to English language classes for those on the BN(O) route for courses commenced after 1 July. This is an increase to previously announced levels.
Funding of up to £2,720 per BN(O) household is available for destitution support.
Which local authorities can access the targeted support funds?
The funding can be claimed by all county councils, unitary authorities, combined authorities, London boroughs and metropolitan boroughs. Where lower tier councils are providing some elements of the support, they will need to agree arrangements for claiming the funding with the local upper tier council, while ensuring that the limits for English language and destitution support are not exceeded.
Have local authorities been given advice on how they can access this funding?
Guidance has been issued to local authority chief executives. It has also been shared with Welcome Hubs.
Funds will be allocated on a quarterly retrospective basis, which should give local authorities certainty on what level of support should be given to BN(O) status holders in their areas.
We have worked with local authorities and the LGA to develop the guidance on clear eligibility criteria for this funding and put in place a streamlined process to access the funding.
If you require a copy of the guidance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would funding upfront be a better option?
As those on the BN(O) route can choose to settle in any part of the UK, providing upfront funding to areas based on our projections could lead to some areas missing out on funding to support any future influxes of BN(O) status holders. To address this risk, we are providing retrospective funding to local authorities.
We will continue to keep the funding model under review as the programme develops.
How often will local authorities receive retrospective payments, and does this mean that local authorities have to pay upfront for BN(O) support?
Payments for BN(O) support will be quarterly on a retrospective basis as set out in the guidance. If we provided funding upfront this may mean that some areas providing English language or destitution support may miss out on it.
Local authorities may have to pay for support upfront for those on the BN(O) route in their areas, but the guidance explains the eligibility criteria for this funding. This should give local authorities certainty on what level of support should be given to BN(O) status holders in their areas.
How do you know that the amounts allocated for English Language and destitution support are enough to support BN(O) status holders?
Original costs were based on previous programmes and support. For Year Two of the Programme, the amount available per person on English language support has increased from £800 to £850.
We expect that local authorities will use these funds to build upon existing provision, where available, and that they will work with the Welcome Hubs to deliver support where appropriate.
We will keep these amounts under review based on further data which will be gathered on the needs and characteristics of BN(O) status holders.
Do local authorities have to provide evidence to support claims when spending these funds?
The claim form for this funding asks the local authority to confirm that it has seen evidence that the individual or household requires support. We worked with the LGA and local authorities to agree the format of this.
It is important that DLUHC and partners across government work together to understand any themes, innovation or good practice emerging that could help inform policy developments in this space. In addition to evidencing claims, which will provide monitoring data as to how many individuals have been supported through the scheme, and providing forecasts based on contact with BN(O) status holders, we ask local authorities to complete a light-touch appraisal of the impact of the support this fund has provided.
We would also expect that any local authority receiving this funding would contribute to best practice or similar learning/ knowledge sharing exercises.
Claims must be made on DELTA (DLUHC’s in-house data collection platform). Local authorities need to register with DELTA to submit claims to the department. To help local authorities understand what information is required, the department can provide a sample copy of the online form. Please email email@example.com to register.
What if there’s more demand than expected?
The available funding is based on current estimates of demand and will be kept under review.
Can the funding be used to deliver online resources to complement face to face English language provision?
Local authorities and providers were required to consider the way learning was delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many are now embracing digital technology to enhance the way things are done including increasing digital access. If the online resources contribute to the delivery of the learning and are part of the provision, then local authorities can reclaim the costs for this up to the limit.
Can local authorities use the funding to pay for English language classes delivered by a private provider?
It will be for the local authority to decide on the most appropriate delivery arrangements and range of providers within a local area that best meet the language requirements of BN(O) status holders.
How could local authorities increase local provision to meet demand?
We would encourage local authorities to work collaboratively across boundaries or in conjunction with the Welcome Hub network to take advantage of available provision, or to procure new provision where required. Additionally, local authorities may wish to connect with their regional Strategic Migration Partnership’s English language coordinator for support and advice.
Some regional VCSE organisations funded by the Programme also offer English language support as part of their community led projects.
Is the funding aimed at a specific type of English language provision?
BN(O) status holders will have differing needs and levels of English language and literacy, so there is no singular type of support that this funding should be used for. Instead, the local authority funding requirements should be informed by the nature of existing local provision and by each adult learner’s specific circumstances and requirements.
What provision is being made for children and young people who require English language support?
Where a school age child requires English language support, this will be provided by schools, with funding through the National Funding Formula (NFF) for schools, which includes an English as an additional language (EAL) component. The EAL factor is the means through which state-funded schools in England are allocated additional funding for pupils who are recorded in the school census as having entered state education in England during the last 3 years, and whose first language is not English.
The funding equates to £565 per eligible primary pupil and £1,530 per eligible secondary pupil in 2022-23. The NFF will distribute a total of £410 million through the EAL factor in the current financial year. Schools have flexibility over how they use their overall funding to support EAL pupils in developing proficiency in English, as they are best placed to understand and respond to the specific needs of their pupils.
Will local authorities be able to reclaim the costs of providing creche/childcare provision where required for English language provision?
We recognise that some learners face certain barriers to participation in learning, such as caring and childcare responsibilities. Where a learner requires creche/childcare provision, local authorities should consider practical solutions to support learners. Where possible, support should be provided as part of the provision and additional costs may be reclaimed, subject to the limit per learner. Further information is required as part of the claim form.
Can I claim for associated costs such as exam fees, initial learner assessments etc?
Where possible this should be built into the overall provision and claimed up to the limit.
Welcome Hubs and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSE)
What is the role of the Welcome Hubs and wider SMP network?
Strategic Migration Partnerships (SMPs) coordinate and support local delivery of national programmes in asylum and refugee schemes, as well as agreed regional and devolved migration priorities. SMPs work with stakeholders in the statutory, voluntary, private and community sectors to provide a strategic leadership, advisory and coordination function on migration for their regions and Devolved Governments, ensuring a coordinated approach to migration and the sharing of relevant information and good practice. The hosting arrangements for each SMP may differ depending on regional and national structures.
There are 12 SMP partnerships across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The 12 Hong Kong Welcome Hubs were established utilising the existing SMP infrastructure.
Welcome Hubs play an integral role in the delivery of the Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Programme, coordinating the welcome of BN(O) status holders into their new communities with local authorities and VCSEs. The UK Welcome Hubs are providing a range of support based on need and the expected number of arrivals in each area. This may include:
- working closely with partners to share resources, review requests for support and, where appropriate, assisting with joint commissioning between areas
- commissioning support for those on the BN(O) route where they have identified a need for support that is not being met
- communicating and raising awareness of the Department’s wider BN(O) Welcome Programme throughout regional networks
- providing constructive feedback to the Department on issues and challenges that cannot be resolved locally
- acting as a critical friend to the Department facilitating continuous improvement in community cohesion and support for local areas
- capturing and sharing aggregated data and intelligence with DLUHC, supporting the Department’s work to better understand the volume, destination and needs of BN(O) status holders
- acting as a conduit for the sharing of information and evidence between central government, Devolved Governments, local authorities, local partners and the existing SMP network, including regular reporting on the volumes, location, characteristics and needs of BN(O) status holders encountered by their Welcome Hub
The 9 English Welcome Hubs have a role to play in assisting the department in the VCSE regional funding by working with national and regional organisations as they deliver projects to support those on the BN(O) route. The Welcome Hubs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland work with national VCSE organisations to do this.
Where can I find more information on the Welcome Hubs?
All Welcome Hubs have websites with information on how BN(O)s can access support in their regions. These are as follows:
|East of England||https://smp.eelga.gov.uk/hk-hub/|
|Yorkshire & Humber||https://www.migrationyorkshire.org.uk/hong-kong-hub|
Why have you weighted funding for Welcome Hubs and VCSE groups?
We know that existing Hong Kong communities are spread throughout the UK, with bigger communities in larger cities. Data suggests that incoming BN(O) status holders are settling in a similar way.
On this basis we have weighted funding against the locations where BN(O) status holders are likely to settle.
Current modelling projects that BN(O)s will continue to settle across the UK, and on this basis each of the 12 Welcome Hubs will receive some level of funding to support BN(O) status holders.
Hubs with the greatest projected demand receive the larger proportion of funding.
Local authorities work closely with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, what support is available for these organisations and how do they support the BN(O) community?
We know the VCSE sector plays an important role in delivering local services and they have extensive experience in supporting the integration of migrant groups.
As part of the BN(O) Welcome Programme, national and local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups are being funded to support BN(O) status holders in priority areas of integration, employability, mental health and prevention of hate crime.
Regional VCSE projects in England are delivering local community led projects across the 9 English regions to support Welcome Hub regional priorities. Funding has also been made available for the On Your Side service for BN(O) status holders and others of East and Southeast Asian heritage across the UK, to provide hate crime reporting services, a helpline and website so BN(O) status holders and resident communities feel safe.
Do we know where BN(O) status holders settle when they arrive?
Individuals on the BN(O) route can choose to settle in any location across the UK.
We know that existing Hong Kong communities are spread across the UK, with bigger communities in larger cities. Data informing planning assumptions expected that BN(O)s would mostly locate in London, the North West, and South East of England, with regional proportions estimated at 29%, 12% and 11% respectively. Emerging data broadly aligns with this, such as the Department for Education’s annual school census.
The Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Programme is designed to provide support to local areas to manage a range of numbers of arrivals.
Do local authorities have access to real time data to help plan for new arrivals?
We are working across government to bring together available data to inform planning at national and local levels.
As more BN(O) status holders start to arrive in the UK, we are developing a better understanding, from working with local authorities and Welcome Hubs, of where BN(O) status holders are choosing to settle.
Policy specific issues
English language (England only)
English language is an important part of successful integration, what support is available for BN(O) status holders and their family members who can’t speak English or require classes?
Guidance issued to local authorities sets out how local authorities can claim for the costs of providing support with English language for BN(O) status holders and their family members who need it.
In 2022/23 funding has also been made available for the VCSE sector to deliver regional, community led projects across the 9 regions of England. A new VCSE competition has been launched for 2023/24. Many of these offer English language support as part of their projects.
Why are BN(O) status holders unable to access the Adult Education Budget (AEB)?
BN(O) status holders and their family members aged 19 and over can access further education training, including English language courses funded through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) once they meet the published residency criteria, including the 3 years ordinary residency requirement. Education and training will either be fully funded or co-funded depending on the individual’s age, prior attainment, and employment circumstances.
No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)
Why do you impose NRPF conditions on migrant visa routes?
It is a well-established principle that migrants coming to the UK should be able to maintain and support themselves and their families without recourse to public funds.
These restrictions are an important plank of immigration policy designed to assure the public that controlled immigration brings real benefits to the UK, rather than costs to the public purse.
Are BN(O) status holders subject to the NRPF condition?
Those on the BN(O) route have a ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition attached to their leave. This means they are not able to access benefits and services classed as public funds which are set out in s115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and at paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules. They do, however, have permission to work and study. Those on the BN(O) route are entitled to access a state funded school for their children if they live in the UK.
Those on the BN(O) route can apply for a change of conditions to have their NRPF condition lifted in the case of destitution or where there is a risk of imminent destitution, a risk to the welfare of a child or if the applicant is experiencing exceptional financial circumstances.
Applicants can apply for a change of conditions if:
- the applicant’s financial circumstances have changed since being given permission to stay in the UK and they are no longer able to provide food or housing for themselves or their family
- the applicant’s child is at risk because of their very low income
What is considered destitution in relation to the lifting of NRPF?
In line with other immigration routes across the system that allow for a change of conditions, a person is considered destitute if:
- they do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it (whether or not their other essential living needs are met)
- they have adequate accommodation or the means of obtaining it but cannot meet their other essential living needs
They are at risk of destitution if either or both of the above are imminent.
What is the process for BN(O) status holders who need to apply for a change of condition?
Why can those on the BN(O) route apply to lift this condition when this is not necessarily available to other migrants?
The BN(O) route is a generous offer to BN(O) status holders and their family members which reflects the UK’s historic and moral commitment to those people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status at the point of Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997.
This route was set up following China’s passing of the National Security Law. This new law significantly impacts the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. Since the situation that BN(O) status holders find themselves in has changed, it is right that their rights and entitlements in the UK change too.
This route will not set a precedent. It is a proportionate response to the situation which has arisen, in order to offer a choice that affords long-term safety and stability for these individuals and their families.
If there is a delay between BN(O) status holders applying to have the NRPF condition lifted, and the application being granted, who will support them?
Local authorities that provide support to BN(O) status holders and their families who are destitute or at risk of destitution can access DLUHC’s targeted support funding.
Proof of status
How can those on the BN(O) route prove their immigration status?
Once a BN(O) visa has been granted, depending on how the application was made, the BN(O) status holder will either be able to view immigration status information online or receive a sticker (called a ‘vignette’) that goes in their passport.
If a BN(O) status holder has a vignette, they have to collect a biometric residence permit (BRP) after they arrive. They must do this before the vignette sticker expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later.
The BRP will include:
- name, date and place of birth
- fingerprints and a photo of the status holder’s face (this is the biometric information) immigration status and any conditions of the status holder’s stay, whether the status holder can access public funds, or whether they can work and study
If the BN(O) status holder applied for the BN(O) route online using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan their BNO, HKSAR or EEA passport, they will not receive a vignette and will not need to collect a BRP. Instead, they will receive a digital immigration status which they will be able to view online. The BN(O) status holder can also use the View and prove your immigration status online service to share their immigration status information with others, for example, employers or universities.
The online status will show:
- name, date and place of birth
- immigration status and any conditions of on the status holder’s stay
- dates the visa is valid (start date and end date)
Do BN(O) status holders need a National Insurance number to start work?
Those on the BN(O) route can look for and start work without a National Insurance number if they can prove they can work in the UK.
BN(O) status holders and their family members can go online at Prove your right to work to an employer which allows them to authorise an employer to access data to prove they have the right to work in the UK.
Employers are required to conduct mandatory Right to Work checks on all prospective employees. Having a National Insurance number is not part of these checks, and the possession of a National Insurance number does not prove that an individual has a right to work.
How can those on the BN(O) route prove their right to work?
Biometric residence permit (BRP) holders can demonstrate a right to work online only. They must go online to Prove your right to work to an employer which allows individuals to generate a 9-character long share code (valid for 90 days) that can be passed on to an employer which, when entered alongside the individual’s date of birth, enables employers to access the information. More information on proving a right to work online can be found online in An employer’s guide to right to work checks.
If individuals do not have a BRP, they must provide their documents to their employer to carry out a manual right to work check, using a document from the Lists of Acceptable Documents found in Annex A of the employers guide.
Housing (England only)
Some local areas already have difficulties with housing supply, are local authorities expected to provide accommodation to BN(O) status holders?
The BN(O) route is a generous offer for BN(O) status holders and their dependants, who in turn are expected to be self-sufficient and contribute to UK society.
To be eligible for the BN(O) route, applicants must prove they are able to maintain themselves and their families in the UK for 6 months, and in every case, an initial grant of leave will have no recourse to public funds. BN(O) status holders can apply for settled status after 5 years continuous residence in the UK but in the meantime, they are not eligible to access most public funds unless they have applied for a change of conditions. See section No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).
Local authorities may be expected to provide some form of support in managing tenancies, assessing any eligibility for local deposit schemes and understanding rights and entitlements to housing and welfare support, where that may be appropriate. The targeted support funding factors in the potential impacts on homelessness, housing and translation services demands.
Will those on the BN(O) route who have successfully applied to have the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition lifted have access to social housing?
The Housing Act 1996 provides that a local housing authority shall not allocate housing to persons from abroad who are not eligible (section 160ZA(1)(a)).
There are two types of persons from abroad for these purposes:
- persons who are subject to immigration control who will not be eligible for an allocation of housing accommodation (social housing) unless they come within a class of person prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State (section 160ZA(2) of the 1996 Act)
- other persons from abroad who will be eligible for an allocation of social housing unless they come within a class of person prescribed as ineligible by virtue of regulations made by the Secretary of State under section 160ZA(4)
In June 2021, regulations came into force to ensure that people from Hong Kong who are on the BN(O) route and have their no recourse to public funds condition lifted due to destitution are also eligible for social housing and homelessness assistance.
The BN(O) route does not require BN(O) status holders to secure a job offer prior to arriving in the UK – does that mean local authorities are expected to support their access to employment?
We know that those on the BN(O) route want to find and secure jobs as soon as they arrive. This guarantees an income and also provides opportunities to integrate into their new communities.
There are many benefits of enabling new migrant arrivals to access employment at their appropriate skill level relatively soon after arrival in the UK, both for their own wellbeing and for the wider community.
Employment support can assist in understanding and navigating the UK job market, transferring existing skills and qualifications, and identifying relevant training and study options.
In some instances, funding for national and local VCSE activity has been used to develop specific employability support for the BN(O) arrivals, dependent on local need.
Where can BN(O)s access employability support?
Some of the UK Welcome Hubs and VCSE organisations are able to support BN(O) status holders and their families with employability coaching and support with CV and interview skills.
Education (England only)
What are you doing about school places?
The children of BN(O) status holders from Hong Kong who settle in the UK have a right to attend school in the UK. Local authorities hold the statutory duty to provide sufficient school places.
Any BN(O) status holders who already live in the UK or who move to live in the UK under the BN(O) route can apply for a school place for their children. Schools are not permitted to refuse any children a place on the grounds of their nationality or immigration status.
The Department for Education is surveying LA admission officers termly to obtain information on where BN(O) status holders are settling and applying for school places, in order to alert pupil place advisers to areas where there may be pressure on school places.
Pupil Place Planning (PPP) advisors have integrated conversations on planning for BN(O) status holders as part of their routine engagement on sufficiency. Pupil planning advisors can be contacted at: Advisers.PPP@education.gov.uk
How can BN(O) families apply for a school place?
Information for BN(O) parents on how to apply for a school place can be found in the Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Pack.
What about pre-school aged children?
Information for BN(O) parents on childcare can be found in the Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Pack.
Do BN(O) status holders and their family members benefitting from this route have to pay international student fees for higher education?
BN(O) status holders are classified as international students until they complete their pathway to settlement.
To qualify for home fee status in the UK, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the UK. There are also requirements associated with ordinary residence in the UK.
Subject to meeting the normal eligibility requirements, BN(O) status holders will be able to qualify for home fee status once they have acquired settled status in the UK. This also applies to any dependants.
Generally, in order to qualify for home fee status and student finance for higher education purposes, a person would need to be settled in the UK and have 3 years ordinary (lawful) residence prior to the first day of their course. For BN(O)s, this means they would need to qualify for settled status (usually after 5 years residence under the Immigration rules) before being eligible to access home fee status and student finance. This is the case for the majority of persons who are on a 5 year route to settlement.
What advice is there on comparability of qualifications obtained in Hong Kong?
Information on comparability of qualifications can be found in the Hong Kong BN(O) Welcome Pack.
Do BN(O) status holders have access to health care?
Those on the BN(O) route have access to healthcare free at the point of use on broadly the same basis as British residents, once they have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and their application has been granted.
We have highlighted resources below that local authorities may find helpful when considering their integration plans. Further resources will be added over time:
- LGA’s guidance on community cohesion
- Home Office’s indicators framework provides practical ways to design more effective strategies, monitor services and evaluate integration interventions
- Syrian Resettlement Scheme – a guide for local authorities
- Guidance on the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme
- Homes for Ukraine: guidance for councils
- Resettling refugees: support after the first year - a guide for local authorities
- Welcome Pack for arrivals from Hong Kong on the BN(O) visa