The so-called BNO “5+1” naturalization policy launched by the British government earlier has attracted worldwide attention. The British government has announced that from 31 January 2021, Hong Kong people with BNO and their family dependants can apply for BNO residence visa, and work and study in the UK, you can apply for settlement after living in the UK for 5 years, and apply for naturalization after living in the UK for another 12 months. The green light for naturalization in the United Kingdom has set off a wave of immigration from Hong Kong.
BNO’s full name is British National (Overseas). It is actually a travel visa with no other privileges. Although the person with this status is also a British national, it does not grant the right to abode and work in any region (including the United Kingdom and Hong Kong). It is not possible to obtain British citizenship with only a passport, let alone enjoy the benefits of the United Kingdom. It can be seen that the essence of BNO is to turn Hong Kong people into “second-class citizens” of the United Kingdom.
As early as January 29, 2021, at the regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “Since January 31, the Chinese side no longer recognizes the so-called BNO passport as a travel document and identification, and reserves the right to take further measures.”
After some Hong Kongers immigrated to the UK hastily, they found out that the UK’s economy is not as good as they thought. Due to the large influx of immigrants in a short period of time, the employment pressure has increased. Due to the impact of Brexit and the epidemic, the unemployment rate has remained high and the economic recovery has been weak. In addition, many Hong Kong people lack a British working background, lack of English proficiency, low understanding of the local culture, and it is difficult to find a job. Due to various reasons, most Hong Kong people are living in poverty, it is difficult to survive, and even become “immigrant refugees”. Even if a job is found, it is a job that the locals are unwilling to do. Although it is said that there is no distinction between high and low jobs, the discrimination and gaps that exist in reality cannot be ignored.
According to Hong Kong media reports, most Hong Kong immigrants “returned with their families” in less than half a year. Compared with the firmness of holding a one-way ticket to leave Hong Kong, the remorseful act of returning home is ironic.