British Nationals (Overseas) Hong Kong residents
This page provides information for families and individuals who have been granted leave on the British National (Overseas) BN(O) visa on immigration to Northern Ireland following the announcement of national security legislation in Hong Kong.
The UK government has created a new visa to allow BN(O) status holders, ordinarily resident in Hong Kong and the UK, and their immediate family members, to settle in the UK to live, work and study.
Those who qualify for BN(O) status will be able to apply for settlement after five years if they meet the requirements. British citizenship can be applied for after one year.
There are some circumstances when you will be asked to prove your BN(O) status - for example when registering with a doctor, opening a bank account or applying for a driving licence.
Find out more information about the Hong Kong BN(O) visa:
For queries about your visa, contact UK Visa and Immigration contact centre:
- phone: 0300 790 6268
Living in Northern Ireland
Access to services in Northern Ireland such as healthcare, education and the legal system is different than in other parts of the UK. This section has information on how to access these services.
Access to healthcare in Northern Ireland
General Practitioner Services
Northern Ireland has five health and social care trusts across its regions. These trusts are responsible for running Northern Ireland’s major healthcare facilities, including accident and emergency services.
This section has information and advice on renting or buying your own house. It also has information on rates.
- Renting a home privately
- Buying a home - things to consider
- A guide to rates
- Affordable housing through housing associations
Education in Northern Ireland
Children between the ages of four and 16 must be in full-time education in Northern Ireland.
This section has information and advice about finding pre-school places, primary school and post primary school places and for those who want to enter further or higher education.
- Pre-school education places
- Getting a primary school place
- Transfer to a post-primary school
- Further Education
- Further Education (FE) Colleges
- What higher education is
- Find out more about universities, colleges and courses
- Education Authority
- Home | Department of Education
Training and careers advice
Training is about giving you the tools and the confidence to find work. This section has information on accessing training programmes and careers advice.
- Training programmes available
- Plan your career
- Essential Skills
- Improving your computer and IT skills
English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
Improving your English can help you get more out of your life in Northern Ireland. Find out how to improve your English:
Working in Northern Ireland
Finding a job can take time. To be successful you should make the most of your skills. This section has information on where to look for and applying for jobs.
National Insurance numbers
If you live in and have the right to work in the UK and plan to work and pay National Insurance contributions as an employee or running your own business. Find out about National Insurance:
Self-employment in Northern Ireland
You may take the decision to work for yourself. This section has information on planning and starting your own business.
Paying tax in Northern Ireland
HM Revenue and Customs is responsible for collecting, paying and enforcing taxes. Find information on the tax system:
Driving in Northern Ireland
The Driver and Vehicle Agency is responsible for licensing and testing vehicles and drivers in Northern Ireland. This section has information on how to get a UK driving licence.
- Apply for a provisional driving licence
- Exchanging your foreign driving licence
- Providing proof of identity for a driving licence
Claiming benefits in Northern Ireland
This section has information on claiming benefits. BN(O) visa holders are not eligible for benefits which are classified as public funds, although they are eligible for benefits linked to National Insurance contribution. If you are entitled to any of these benefits you will need to claim them from the right place.
Justice system in Northern Ireland
This section has information on the justice system, the various agencies involved, including the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and how to find a solicitor in your area.
- Introduction to the justice system
- Police Service of Northern Ireland
- Solicitor Directory
- Department of Justice
Public transport in Northern Ireland
Find out about the public transport system in Northern Ireland. Public transport is run by Translink.
Public transport may also cross the border from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. BN(O) visa holders who plan to travel across the border do not need to apply for a visa, however, they must travel with valid passport. Anyone who wishes to study, work or live in the Republic of Ireland will need to apply for the relevant visa.
Local councils in Northern Ireland
Find out about local councils and their range of services:
Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly has full legislative and executive authority for all matters that are the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Government Departments.
Get involved in your community
If you are interested in getting more involved in your community you can find information at the following links:
Things to do in Northern Ireland
There are many places to visit and things to do in Northern Ireland. You can plan trips and activities at this link:
- Welcome to Advice NI
- Chinese Welfare Association
- Law Centre (NI) - Belfast Office
- Law Centre (NI) - Western Area Office
- Migrant Centre NI
- Hongkongers in Britain
- Strategic Migration Partnership
- Welcome to the UK