34,000 HK visa applications to Britain exceed those of EU in three months

Hong Kong | 27 May 2021 8:59 pm

Britain has received far more applications for visas from Hong Kong than from the European Union after a new system opened up for residents in the former British colony and post-Brexit rules kicked in, a report said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

There were 34,000 applications from Hong Kong residents to live in Britain in the first three months of the year compared to 5,354 for any type of visa from those in the EU, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said.

The influx of Hong Kong applications comes after Britain announced a new scheme from January 31, allowing residents to apply for a visa and the chance to become British citizens after Beijing's imposition of a national security law last year, clamping down on dissent.

The British government has forecast the scheme - open to those with a British National Overseas (BNO) passport, a special status created before 1997 and held by almost 3 million Hong Kong residents - could attract more than 300,000 people and their dependants.

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