Welcome: a guide for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa holders in the UK

Information for Hong Kong British National (Overseas)

This page is for people who recently came to the UK from Hong Kong or who are applying to enter the UK under the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN (O)) visa.

The UK Government provides advice and advice to people living in the UK on access to services provided by or on behalf of the Government. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Information about services may differ depending on the country in the UK where you live.

To help the BN (O) in Hong Kong settle in the UK, a welcome pack with welcome from the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has been developed. This will walk you step by step through access to the public services available to you – from finding a job, to registering with you and your family with a doctor, to finding a school for you children.

UK Citizens’ Overseas Visa Welcome Pack for Hong Kong arrivals

How to Apply for a National Insurance (NI) Number

To work in the UK you will need a social security number.

You can start work without a social security number if you can show you have the right to work in the UK.

Career advice and support

You can get advice and support from the National Careers Service.

Established a company in the UK

Find out more about how to start a business in the UK.

The British Business Bank is the UK’s government development bank. It provides advice and assistance to small businesses in the UK, including identifying suitable funding options. In collaboration with partners, it also offers start-up loans and free mentoring advice for start-ups. You should also see the British Business Bank’s online financial hub.

There are several other organizations that can help you start a business. These include Local Growth Hubs (UK only) or Chambers of Commerce that you can use to finance and grow your business. For a list of those in your area, see Finance and Support for Your Business

Housing – how to rent

A guide on how to rent a property in England.

Living – buying a house

A guide is for people who are thinking of buying a home.

How to set up a bank account

For information on how to open a bank account in the UK, please visit the Citizens Advice website.


You can get free hours of childcare if your child is 2 to 4 years old.

Choosing a school

If you are settling in England and have a child aged 5 to 16, you need to make sure they are receiving full time education. You should contact your local council for government funded schools in your area and the eligibility criteria.

For information on the right of foreign children to enter the UK in order to access a school in England, see School Admissions: Foreign Child Applications.

further education

More information on continuing education, including any post-secondary studies that are not part of higher education.

higher education

Information on study options in the UK and the application process is available through the British Council.


The UK European Network Information Center (UK ENIC) advises experts on the comparability of international qualifications, including those from Hong Kong with UK qualifications, on behalf of the UK government. The UK ENIC has conducted research on the comparable levels of the years of study preceding the full HKDSE degree and is therefore able to issue statements of comparability even though the formal final qualification has not yet been completed to run schools and colleges in A level enrollment and 16- 19 Financing Exceptions.

Education and training for adults

You are entitled to continuing education and training, including English courses, funded from the Adult Education Budget (AEB) if you meet the published eligibility criteria for residency, including the 3 year residency requirement. The AEB financing rules define the general admission and residence criteria. Education and training are either fully financed or co-financed (approx. 50% state contribution) depending on age, previous attainment and circumstances.

Help to learn english

English courses held privately, if you wish to pay a fee, are available through the British Council.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The UK Government’s COVID-19 advisory website has information on the vaccination program, as well as information on reporting symptoms and self-isolating at home. It also describes the rules that apply to action during the coronavirus pandemic and guidelines on social distancing.

If you are coming to the UK from a Red List country, you must be quarantined in a government approved hotel for ten days upon arrival.

Booking a coronavirus vaccination

Information on booking a coronavirus vaccination. The vaccine is offered and made available free of charge to everyone living in the UK. You don’t need to be registered with a general practitioner office or have an NHS number to get the vaccine.

How do I register with a general practitioner?

Anyone can register with a doctor’s office. You don’t need proof of address or immigration status.

Victim of a crime

To report a crime to the police, you should call 101 or 999 in an emergency. Get free support and advice if you are a crime victim. You should report all cases of hate crime and hate crime related to Covid.

The decentralized administrations

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Information about services may differ depending on the country in the UK where you live.

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