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World Hong Kongers Seek U.K. BNO Passports in Record Numbers: SCMP

10:20  27 september  2020
10:20  27 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Unprecedented surge was not triggered by the national security law imposed by Beijing on June 30 but it continued unabated in the first half of 2020. Total number of identity documents issued in 2019 soared to 154,218, nearly an eightfold increase from the previous year, official British data shows.

If China implements new national security legislation it has proposed for Hong Kong, the UK may change visa rights for residents of the city who hold British National (Overseas) passports .

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong residents renewed or applied for British National (Overseas) passports in record numbers last year as anti-government protests erupted in the city, according to the South China Morning Post.

A demonstrator shows a British National (Overseas) passport as another waves a colonial-era Hong Kong flag during a lunchtime protest at the International Finance Center (IFC) shopping mall in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, May 29, 2020. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam issued a letter to the city's people asking them to understand and support national security legislation that has sparked the biggest protests since last year and fresh concerns about future autonomy from China. © Bloomberg A demonstrator shows a British National (Overseas) passport as another waves a colonial-era Hong Kong flag during a lunchtime protest at the International Finance Center (IFC) shopping mall in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, May 29, 2020. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam issued a letter to the city's people asking them to understand and support national security legislation that has sparked the biggest protests since last year and fresh concerns about future autonomy from China.

The 154,218 BNO passports issued in 2019 is an eightfold jump from the year earlier, the newspaper reported, citing British government data. The authority also recorded 32,813 renewals by the end of June this year, the second-highest number since 2006, the Post said.

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UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is under fire for blocking a plan to give full citizenship to holders of British National (Overseas) passport holders. A report that Raab has blocked plans to grant full citizenship to holders of British National (Overseas) passports has galvanised Hong Kong activists in

After it was revealed Britain exerted pressure on Portugal not to grant full citizenship to Macau residents, fearing Hongkongers would demand the same, what does it mean to be a British National (Overseas) passport holder? Topic | Travel news and advice.

The identity document was a product of the end of the British colonial era, made to recognize Hong Kong residents of the time as overseas British nationals, though it only gave holders the right to visit the country for as long as six months. In July, the U.K. government upgraded the status of BNO passport holders to offer them a path to U.K. citizenship in response to the Chinese government’s introduction of the controversial national security law.

The political unrest last year and the introduction this year of the security legislation have prompted many Hong Kong residents to plan an exit from the former British colony in search of more stability and freedom. The U.K. has become an increasingly attractive destination with the easing of immigration policy towards BNO holders. Realtors in London are already seeing a surge in interest from Hong Kong, with inquiries up almost 80% this year for some agencies.

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Calls for BN (O)-holding Hongkongers to receive the right of abode have been rising in Britain amid the city’s increasing violence from protesters and police. The survey found that only one in five people opposed granting the right of abode to all BN (O) passport holders, while 45 per cent supported the

Beijing has reacted angrily to the UK offering a path to citizenship for Hongkongers . Central government lashes out at London move paving the way for millions of Hongkongers to settle in Britain. Beijing response will do little to put off those wanting to emigrate, say observers who see UK ’s offer

There are an estimated 350,000 BNO passport holders in Hong Kong, and about 2.5 million who are eligible for them.

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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