Now 20 years since its return to China, Hong Kong residents are again rushing to secure British passports as a safety net in the event of more possible problems ahead such as social unrest or the erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong. With the “occupy” street protests of 2014, and increasing calls for independence more residents in Hong Kong are looking for a way out in the event of any unrest. The BNO passport applications are still being renewed in Hong Kong as an insurance policy.
With political jitters in Hong Kong there has also been an increase in the number of applications from those renewing their BNO passports. After a steady decline in BNO renewals there has again been a marked uptick in the renewals of BNO passports.
The issue of the status of BNO holders has again raised its head in January 2015 with the lobby group BritishHongKong arguing for the right to live in the United Kingdom. The issue has been replied to by the FCO as to how they view BNO holders as follows.