Hongkongers holding BN(O) passport can verify documents with new smartphone app

Published (HKT): 2021.02.24 06:15

Hongkongers planning to move to Britain via a new visa route launched in response to the controversial national security law can now submit their documents via a smartphone app.

The UK Immigration: ID Check app started accepting document uploads from applicants of the British Nationals (Overseas) visa at 9 a.m. GMT (5 p.m. HKT) on Tuesday.

Applications for holders of the BN(O) identity and their families opened at the end of last month. However, they were previously required to attend appointments at a visa center as a part of their application.

This will be the first time non-European Economic Area passport holders are able to submit their documents via a smartphone app.

The new visa was launched by the U.K. after Hong Kong introduced a controversial national security law, which many believed would curtail freedoms in the former British colony. China has since labelled the move as a British attempt to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.

The new visa scheme allows Hongkongers to move to the U.K. for five years, and obtain citizenship after the sixth year.

Mainland China and Hong Kong have stopped recognizing the BN(O) passport as a travel or identity document.

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