Thousands of Hong Kongers Have Already Applied for UK Visa Under New Scheme
Nearly 5,000 Hong Kongers have applied for visas since the new immigration route was opened on January 31st, with experts estimating total application could hit 145,000 by the end of the year if the current rate is maintained.
Initially this scheme is open to Hong Kongers holding British National Overseas (BNO) citizenship — a relic of the Cantonese-speaking Special Administrative Region’s long years as a part of the British Empire, before the UK transferred it to the communist regime in Beijing (Peking) in 1997.
In time, the scheme will be open to some 5.4 million Hong Kongers, with a clear path to full British citizenship.
Migration experts have reportedly expressed surprise at the number of early applications, with Dr Peter William Walsh of the Migration Observatory saying: “It’s not an insubstantial number and it’ll be interesting to see how much it trails off. It would be something like 145,000 by the end of the year if it continued at that rate.”
The Johnson administration has given no indication that it is even considering putting a cap on annual immigration in order to ensure the already soaring numbers do not go completely out of control as a result of the Hong Kong scheme.