Britain Promises a Pathway to Citizenship for 3 Million Hong Kong Residents after Beijing's Power Move
The United Kingdom government plans to provide access to British Citizenship for Hong Kong nationals if Beijing imposes national security laws over the island. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that Britain would have no choice but to uphold its profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong.
If China imposes national security law over Hong Kong, the British government will allow any holders of British National (Overseas) Passports, and those eligible to apply, to come to the UK for a renewable 12-month period. This offer includes further immigration rights such as the right to work, starting the route to citizenship.
Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said that the proposed national security law undermines the 'one country two systems' framework, and raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes.
The United Kingdom officially expressed condemnation after Chinese legislators approved the proposed law that will impose national security laws over Hong Kong.
Currently, the 300,000 BNO passport holders may spend up to 6 months per year in the UK without a visa. Around 3 million people are eligible to obtain these passports. According to Johnson's statement, BNO passport holders from Hong Kong will be able to come to the UK, reside there freely and apply for British citizenship at a later stage.
According to Reuters, many Hong Kong residents have decided to renew their BNO passports after Dominic Raab promised a possibility of refuge in the UK following the introduction of national security laws.
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