London. London reported Friday that it had promised this measure as part of its confrontation with Beijing over freedoms in that former British colony.
Until now, residents of the territory to which London returned to China in 1997 could only visit the UK for six months without a work permit.
But with these visas they will be able to stay for five years and apply for British citizenship at a later time.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement, “I am extremely proud that we have opened this new path for Hong Kong citizens to live, work and settle in our country.”
The leader who boasts of “defending” “freedom and autonomy, the values that the United Kingdom and Hong Kong adhere to”, added that this extension “honors our deep historical and friendly relations with the people of Hong Kong.”
The British government had promised this change in July 2020 in response to China’s imposition of a new national security law in Hong Kong, which is seen as a “clear and serious violation” of the terms of return, the defense minister said. Foreign Relations, Dominic Raab.
Holders of “British overseas passports” and “eligible family members” will be able to apply for a five-year visa for 250 pounds (340,280 euros) from Sunday.
However, each person, adult or minor, will have to pay between £ 3,120 and £ 2,350 to benefit from the British public health system.
There are around 350,000 British Foreign Passport holders, a figure that has nearly doubled in Hong Kong in the past year and a half. Another 2.9 million Hong Kongers, all of whom were born before 1997, qualify for this document.
London estimates the new system could attract as many as 322,400 of them in five years.