In response to China’s proposal of the National security law on Hong Kong, Boris Johnson has announced the UK will consider new immigration laws, providing a positive opportunity for those looking to move.
China submitted a draft plan at the end of May, in which the new law would make criminal any act of secession, subversion, terrorism, and activities of foreign forces which would interfere in Hong Kong. Since China took sovereignty back over Hong Kong in 1997, they agreed to uphold the freedom of ‘one country, two systems’, but this law if passed threatens the freedom in Hong Kong that Mainland China does not see; and would also allow Chinese security agencies to set up offices in Hong Kong for the first time. Before the Chinese handover, all Hong Kong citizens were granted a BNO passport (British National Oversees), which grants them some protection from the UK foreign service, but it does not allow the right to live or work In Britain.
In the aftermath of the news of the law, Boris Johnson announced in the Times that if China passes the security law, people in Hong Kong who hold BNO passports will be allowed to come to the UK for 12 months without a visa, whereas currently the maximum period is six months. 350,000 people in Hong Kong currently already have a BNO passport, and 2.6 million others are eligible, this law change from the UK would allow further immigration rights such as the right to work and put people on route to citizenship.
At this time of uncertainty surrounding the law imposition on Hong Kong, the UK’s Tier 1 Investor Visa route may be a safe and secure option for those in Hong Kong wanting to move and secure the finances without the threat of changes in laws. The UK and its rule of Law means that every citizen is subject to the law, it protects fundamental rights such as the security of persons and contracts, property, and human rights, and so offers protection and freedom in a way Hong Kong may no longer experience. To be able to move to the UK with a tier 1 visa, it requires a £2 million or more investment into the UK, and will allow you to work and study with further investments leading to application for settlement. Mr Johnson has said he would have ‘no choice’ but to uphold the past agreements with the former British Colony, providing a reliable move to the UK and continuation of freedom.