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BNO Renewal in Hong Kong

British ConsulateIn 2012 the South China Morning Post wrote a good article on BNO renewal and how this affects the more than 3.4 million citizens of Hong Kong. You can renew your BNO status even when your passport has expired however it does come at a price.

They have stated that many BNO holders think that once the passport has expired then they have lost out. Well you have not and you can still renew even the expired passport. The British Consulate in Hong Kong has refused to release figures as to how many BNO renewal applications they have received. The British Consulate in Hong Kong has stated that it makes no difference if your passport expired years ago it can still be renewed.

The spokesman for the consulate has said that most of their calls they receive is to ask if they can still renew their BNO status even when expired. Let me put it this way.

Renew your BNO even if the passport expired years ago!

There now I have repeated it as well. most of the questions I used to get on this website was about BNO and I have always said – ‘BNO: Yours for Life’.’ You cannot logically have an expired citizenship. Its for life! When pushed for a number they gave a ballpark figure – between 70,000 and  200,000 citizens of Hong Hong renewed theirs. That is as big a ballpark as what you can get.

The BNO passport gives its holders visa-free access to 100 countries, compared with 134 countries to which SAR passport holders have visa-free access.  Cost will always be an issue but this once off cost will last you for 10 years.  At $970, a 32-page 10-year BNO passport costs the same as a British passport. A larger 48-page BNO passport costs $1,150. A 32-page five-year child’s passport costs $630. The passports are run on a full cost-recovery basis, according to the British consulate.

Now look at the real cost – $97 a year!

Take good advice – Renew your BNO as the cost will only go up. There is a long term saving in the end as on average $97 a year for an updated BNO passport is a small price to pay.

See the forms and address for the British Consulate in Hong Kong here.

Before you start the process:

  • Don’t apply until you have all the documents you need to send to support your BNO application
  • If we have to missing documents you’ll have 6 weeks to provide them.
  • Note that if dont reply within 6 weeks the applicaiton will be cancelled with no refund.

Documents you will need for the BNO application:

  • You will need 2 identical photos taken within the last 30 days;
  • Your original BNO passport (except if it was lost or stolen). Photocopies are not acceptable;
  • You will need a colour photocopy of both sides of your Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card;
  • If you are a dual national, a colour photocopy of your non-British passport (SAR passport);
  • One document as evidence of name and address and/or residency dated within the last year

What type of document can I provide as evidence of name and address?

  • Your visa or resident permit (or colour photocopy);
  • Your tax records (eg a letter from a tax authority);
  • Your educational records (eg school report);
  • Your employment record (eg official letter from your employer)
  • Any letter sent to you from a government department (eg rates letter);
  • Baptismal or naming certificate
  • Your current medical/health card
  • Your voter’s card
  • A letter from your bank / building society

How to Apply:

  • You must apply for the BNO and pay online;
  • You will need to go to www.gov.uk/overseas-passports/y/hong-kong
  • After you have entered your details and paid online, you’ll have to print and sign a declaration form, and send it to them with your supporting documents and photos;
  • There are three stages to your online passport application;

 

Stage 1 – Create and Check

• Create your application by telling them: – the type of passport you want, – personal details (name, date of birth and contact details) and your BNO passport number – details of any non-British passports that you hold;

• You will be able to check and edit your application before paying.

 

Which application type applies to me?

Renewal – if you have an existing, undamaged BNO passport, and your name and British national status have not changed

Changes to your current passport – if you have changed your name, you want to change the photo or if there is a change to your British national status

Lost or stolen passport replacement – if you are applying to replace a BNO passport that has been lost or stolen

Damaged passport replacement – If you have damaged your existing passport and you are applying to replace it

Extension of a passport to full validity – if your last passport was issued for one year or less, and you are applying to extend it

The most common BNO application would be the extension and renewal of the BNO passport.

Stage 2 – Pay and Print

• They will show you the total amount that you need to pay, and you will need to enter your card details

• After you have submitted your application details and paid online, you will have to print a declaration form and other guidance. You can save the form and print it elsewhere.

What cards can I use to pay online?

• MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Debit or Maestro (UK Domestic) card

• Maestro (International) cards aren’t accepted

Stage 3 – Sign and Send

• The guidance pack will tell you: – the address in the UK to send the declaration form – what documents you must include – whether or not you require a countersignatory and – what kind of photos are acceptable. (Please do not forward photographs of your countersigner)

How long do I have to send the declaration form to you?

• If they don’t receive your signed declaration form and supporting documents within 90 days, your application will be withdrawn and you won’t get a refund;

I’ve noticed a mistake in my application after payment, what should I do?

• Provide the details in a signed and dated covering letter with your declaration form and supporting documents;

How will I get my new passport and supporting documents?

• Your new passport and supporting documents will be sent to you separately (in two separate packages). The supporting documents may take slightly longer to be delivered to you. The supporting documents package will include your old passport

 

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