(The Guardian) Migration agents in Hong Kong say they have had a rush of inquiries from people seeking to access the new visa scheme launched by the UK government on Sunday, despite fears their applications will be monitored.
Britain’s Home Office is expecting about 300,000 people to exercise a newly offered right to move to Britain and eventually seek citizenship in the next five years. The scheme was announced in July in response to the worsening security situation in Hong Kong, as the Chinese government tightens its control over the city with a draconian national security law.
Online applications for the scheme – which is open to about 5 million Hongkongers who have a British national overseas (BNO) passport, or are their dependants – opened on Sunday. The Guardian spoke to several Hong Kong migration agencies who would not give figures but reported high levels of interest in the BNO scheme, as well as other pathways to the UK.