Entering Hong Kong to do business, work, or getting the right of abode is a dream that many hold dearly. Its strategic location in the Far East, strong & stable financial institutions, supportive government, and proximity to China has made it a perfect place to locate a business.
For British nationals, the history that defined their relationship with Hong Kong and regular changes of law as well as policies has been illustrious. In this post; United Kingdom: How to get a visa in Hong Kong, we explore the history of Britain and Hong Kong and current status of getting a visa.
The history of Hong Kong as a British subject under Jus Soli
Hong Kong became a British colony (subject) in 1842 when it was beginning to operate as a small port. Under the principle of Jus Soli in the English Common Law, all the people in Crown colonies, dominions, and people born therein bore natural allegiance to the crown. In 1847, the Naturalisation of Aliens Act was expanded to include spouses of people under British subjects.
In 1948, Commonwealth nations (All British Subjects) agreed to adopt separate national citizenships referred as CUK (Citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies). Under the new law, British Nationality Act of 1948, all British Subjects would be known as Commonwealth citizens.
Without anticipating the fight for freedom from Asia and Africa starting in the late 1950s and 1960s, all the Commonwealth citizens were free to enter Britain until 1961. Hong Kong was particularly slapped with a very restrictive migratory policy and its citizens found it tough to enter Britain.
In 1981, all the Hong Kong citizens who fell under the category of the United Kingdom or Cronies were changed to British dependent territories citizens.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration that defined the current Hong Kong
In the 1970s, Peoples Republic of China negotiated with Britain and arrived at a declaration that set the status of the current Hong Kong as well as migratory policies. The declaration set December 31st of 1997 as the date when Hong Kong would get its sovereignty. By then, there were about 3.5 million people in Hong Kong as British Overseas Territories Citizens because of their close connection to Hong Kong. Indeed, Hong Kong was the only remaining dependent territory with more than 5 million people.
In the subsequent year, 1985, the Hong Kong British Nationality order under the Hong Kong Act added a new British nationality category BN(O) to cater for Hong Kong British Overseas Territories Citizens. All British Overseas Territories Citizens in Hong Kong who wanted to get British National BN(O) were required to apply.
Following the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, fear of conflict after the 1997 timeline gripped many people living in Hong Kong. Many of them emigrated, and Hong Kong started suffering from brain drain.
For people without Chinese nationalities (non-Chinese minorities) who were mainly of Pakistan, Indian, and Nepal origin, People’s Republic of China could not give them citizenship. They were allowed British Nationality as well as the right of abode in Hong Kong but not in the UK or China.
Views Held By China about Hong Kong Residents
After the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, The Chinese Nationality Law took over and British Overseas Territories Citizens ceased to exist. All People of Chinese descent were considered Chinese citizens whether they had acquired other citizenship or not. The common groups of people eligible for British nationality in Hong Kong include.
- British citizenship for specific ethnic Indians according to the new Indian Law: Following the recent changes to the Indian law that indicates Indian citizens by descent cannot get automatic citizenship by birth; those born in Hong Kong after December 2004 to a BN(O) parent get British Overseas Citizenship status automatically according to Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order of 1986.
What you need to do to get a visa in Hong Kong ?
The history, laws, and shifting geo-economics play a crucial role in driving the Hong Kong social-economic inclination. For many people, understanding the entire scenario remains an uphill task. Here are some things that you can do to get the visa in Hong Kong.
- Seek professional assistance: One of the best methods of getting your visa is seeking professional assistance. Top experts understand everything about visa application in Hong Kong to make your work easier, faster and raise the success rate of getting a visa.
- Make a strong case for your application: Every time that a person applies for a visa, it is reviewed based on merit. It is important to redefine your mission well and capture everything in writing, have all documents, and present a very strong case. If you find it difficult to present such a candid argument, do not hesitate to see assistance from a professional with experience.
The history of Hong Kong and Britain is illustrious and has worked to define the relationships as well as immigration systems in both states. To get your visa in Hong Kong, it is important to understand the past so that you can make the right approach.
More importantly, visa applicants should consider expert assistance to raise their chances of success. The experts understand the history, have followed the every development since 1997, and will help you make the best shot to get the visa application successful.