Residents in Hong Kong Seek British Passports
Firstly government data has shown that in last year 2016, more than 37,500 BN(O) passports were issued. Which is a massive 44 percent jump on the year before and also the highest number for more than a decade as reported by Reuters. Diplomatic sources have told Reuters that there is also a much broader rush for foreign citizenship for the residents of Hong Kong. The BNO passport holder does not automatically obtain the right of abode in the United Kingdom. However holders of the BNO passports can visit the UK visa-free. This for a period of six months and are also entitled to British consular protection around the world. From Reuters:
“People are worried. We understand that embassies all over Hong Kong are getting lots of queries from people seeking citizenship,” said one senior diplomat at a major consulate.
Hong Kong residents are moving out of Hong Kong to a number of countries in Asia and in the West. In Canada they have seen a growing number of new citizens from Hong Kong in the 10 years to 2015. The same goes for Taiwan which saw a major boost in numbers during the period of 2016. This as a total of 1,086 Hong Kong residents became Taiwan permanent residents. This has been the highest figure for the last 10 years. Hong Kong residents in South Korea have also shot up as they saw a seven-fold increase in 2015 compared to 2007. The United States also saw a massive increase in applications from Hong Kong with a 22 percent increase from 2015 to 2016.