Britons in Hong Kong
Chinese Translation of the Letter by Home Secretary to The Prime Minister | 英國內政大臣彭黛玲致函英國首相約翰遜中文譯本
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
To better illustrate the new proposed plan for BN(O) residency in the UK, Britons In Hong Kong translated the letter written by Home Secretary Priti Patel MP to The Prime Minister. We hope the Cantonese version enables better understanding to her proposal. In the meantime, prepare yourself and wait for more details from HM government!
Source: HKFP's tweet https://twitter.com/HongKongFP/status/1272761264477859840
NEW IMMIGRATION ROUTE FOR BRITISH NATIONALS (OVERSEAS; BN(O)s) AND THEIR DEPENDANTS FROM HONG KONG
On 28 May, UK Government announced the intent to offer a pathway to citizenship in the UK for BN(O)s. I am writing to seek collective agreement on a policy to give effect to this, so that my officials can work up a detailed delivery plan.
I propose we should offer BN(O)s and their family dependants in Hong Kong a defined immigration route and clear pathway to citizenship. However, it will take time to set up this scheme, so as an interim measure I will change guidance to advise Border Force to grant BN(O)s leave to enter the UK outside of the Immigration Rules. I would be grateful for responses by 9:00am Wednesday 17 June.
我建議我們應為英國國民（海外）及其在港的家屬提供一個明確的移民流程及成為英國公民的途徑。然而，制定這項計劃需時；因此，作為一項臨時措施，我將修改指引，建議入境官員 (Border Force) 在移民規則之外給予英國公民（海外）入境許可。我希望能夠於六月十七日（星期三）上午九時前收到回覆。
The decision of China's National People's Congress (NPC) to impose national security measures in Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with the main provisions of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and demands a political response. one element of which should be greater rights for BN(O)s to live in the UK, reflecting their special status, as is reflected in the generous policy proposal approved by the Ministerial Small Group on 10 June.
In summary, the BN(O) immigration route will grant BN(O)s and their family dependants enhanced rights to enter and reside in the UK. with a pathway to settlement after 5 years and the right to apply for citizenship after an additional period of 12 months free of immigration time restrictions. They will have the right to work or study in any capacity and will be expected to support themselves without recourse to public funds. They may be deported if they commit criminal offences before achieving citizenship, which is the standard approach for those in the UK in relation to criminality.
I propose to introduce this new route based on the following principles:
a. Eligibility for the scheme will be generous, applying to BN(O) status holders and their family dependants who are usually resident in Hong Kong. We suggest maintaining a consistent definition of dependants so that the scheme is coherent with other areas of the Immigration Rules, (i.e. spouse/partner and under-18 children);
b. Applications may be made from within the UK for a specified period of time to allow those currently in the UK the opportunity to apply, or in Hong Kong;
c. The immigration route will be customer friendly and implemented through a simple, streamlined application process. Clear parameters will need to be set outlining the scope of eligibility and suitability to ensure a transparent application process;
d. We will charge a fee for the initial visa, and also for subsequent settlement and citizenship applications after five and six years from arrival respectively. The Immigration Health Surcharge will also be applied to all applicants when granted more than 6 months leave until the point at which settlement is reached;
d. 我們會收取初次簽證的費用，同時也會分別收取由入境後起計的五年及六年中用作申請定居和公民身份的費用。在獲得六個月以上的居住許可時，移民醫療附加費 (Immigration Health Surcharge) 也將適用於所有申請人，直至獲取定居身分為止。
e. A condition of this route, in common with other immigration routes, will be no recourse to public funds prior to settlement. In the current climate, there is potential for significant impact on local authorities, and domestic policy of a number of other departments;
f. We will refuse entry or stay to those whose presence will be non-conducive, and prior to obtaining citizenship they will be deportable if they commit crimes or removable if they breach visa terms;
g. We will not impose a quota on numbers:
h. Hong Kong nationals who are not BN(O)s will not be eligible.
In the context of the principles above, we will need to carefully consider responsibilities in relation to our equalities' duties - that will need to be carefully managed as we develop the full policy and implementation plans.
I am also writing to formally seek final confirmation of an interim measure to introduce a change to guidance issued to Border Force officers, as agreed in March.
我也同時就一項臨時措施向你正式尋求批准。此措施將按照三月份達成協議的修訂，修改向入境官員 (Border Force) 發出的工作指示。
Under the current immigration rules for visitors. any BN(O) or Hong Kong SAR passport holder who expresses intent to remain in the UK for longer than this six-month period would be denied entry to the UK. Therefore, as an interim measure once the NPC passes the legislation, I will introduce a change to guidance issued to Border Force officers, to advise them to exercise their existing discretion to grant entry Outside the Rules (with conditions prohibiting access to work or public funds) to BN(O)s. even if they express intent to remain in the UK for longer than six months or do not have sufficient funds to support themselves or their families for the length of their proposed stay. This will be subject to ensuring that funding and arrangements will be in place to manage the quarantining measures at the border for this group. This guidance will not waive the suitability or criminality thresholds visitors must meet; BN(O)s could still be refused entry on this basis. This was agreed in principle by the Ministerial Group earlier this year to take effect if China implements their national security law.
根據現行的入境條例，任何持有英國國民（海外）護照或香港特別行政區護照的人，如果表示有意在英國逗留超過六個月，將被拒絕進入英國。因此，作為一項應對全國人大通過立法的臨時措施，我將修改向入境官員 (Border Force) 發出的指示，建議他們對英國國民（海外）行使現有的酌情權以跳過現有條例（條件是禁止其工作或使用公共福利），允許他們在英國停留超過六個月，或甚沒有足夠的資金支持自己或其家人渡過這延長居留的日子。這將取決於是否有資金和計劃來管理這一群體的邊境檢疫措施。此指引並沒有豁免遊客必須達到的資格或刑事準則；英國國民（海外）仍可以此為由被拒絕入境。部長級小組於今年年初原則上同意，如果中國對香港實施國家安全法，此措施即會生效。
Home Office officials will continue to monitor data on BN(O) flows and develop the full policy for the new immigration route. While this will be developed in close collaboration with other departments, I must urge departments to ensure they are part of delivering the services needed to support those who travel to the UK under it.
I would be grateful if departments can confirm with my team the lead departmental official with responsibility for helping to deliver the elements of this bespoke immigration route.
With all good wishes,
Priti Patel MP