British National (Overseas) families resettling in the UK via the Hong Kong BN(O) route will be given support to help them settle in the country. The support will be a dedicated package backed by over £43 million.
The Integration Programme will help status holders access housing, work and educational support to ensure they are able to quickly integrate and contribute to their newfound communities.
The move delivers on the UK’s historic and moral commitment to the people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status in 1997.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘’I want to extend a warm welcome to Hong Kongers arriving in the UK and reaffirm that this government is doing everything in its power to ensure your success and happiness here.
‘’This programme will ensure British National (Overseas) status holders and their families have the very best start as soon as they arrive, and support to help them find a home, schools for their children, opportunity and prosperity.
‘’We are a champion of freedom and democracy and will live up to our responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong, so that these families will come to find the UK a place they can call home.’’
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: ‘’We promised to uphold freedom for the people of Hong Kong, which is why I am proud that we have been able to support so many people when they have needed our help.
‘’’It’s an unprecedented and generous scheme and there is no other visa in the world of this nature. We are working hard to successfully resettle people here and recognise there is nothing more difficult than leaving your home to rebuild a life in a new country.
‘’I know communities up and down our country will welcome new arrivals with open arms and support them to build a new life in the UK.’’
In response to the measures announced by the UK government, the Hong Kong government has told over a dozen consulates to no longer accept the BN(O) passport as a valid travel document. The move will not effect Hong Kong citizens and is being seen as a deliberate rebuke to the UK as tensions rise over the status of Hong Kong.