Hong Kong British National (Overseas) new immigration route
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office / Home Office / Cabinet Office
This nomination recognises the cross-Whitehall team which created and implemented the bespoke immigration route for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders and their families, flagged by the Prime Minister as an outstanding example of the UK’s force for good agenda. Home Office and FCDO teams worked with departments across Whitehall (CO, DfES, the then-MHCLG and the Devolved Administrations) and British Consulate-General Hong Kong on bold proposals to support BN(O) status holders and their families. Following the 2019 Hong Kong protests, and the imposition of a strict National Security Law in 2020, colleagues from across HMG implemented an historic immigration route at unprecedented speed. Within 7 months, the BN(O) route, including a new digital route, was operational with new arrivals supported by a DLUHC-led £43.1m ‘Welcome programme’. As of 30 June, nearly 65,000 people had applied for the BN(O) route, with around 120,000 estimated to apply before its first anniversary in January 2022.