‘Path to citizenship’: U.K. may extend visa rights to nearly 3 million in Hong Kong

Protesters hold a British National (Overseas) passport and Hong Kong colonial flag in a shopping mall during a protest against China's national security legislation for the city, in Hong Kong, Friday, May 29, 2020.

Protesters hold a British National (Overseas) passport and Hong Kong colonial flag in a shopping mall during a protest against China's national security legislation for the city, in Hong Kong, Friday, May 29, 2020.

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Britain is prepared to offer extended visa rights and a pathway to citizenship for almost three million Hong Kong residents in response to China’s push to impose national security legislation in the former British colony.

China’s parliament has approved a decision to go forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists, diplomats and some in the business world fear will jeopardize its semi-autonomous status and its role as a global financial hub.

Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and the EU have all sharply criticized the move.

Foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday that if Beijing went ahead, Britain would extend the rights of 350,000 ‘British National Overseas’ passport holders.

On Friday the interior ministry said that this policy would apply to all BNOs currently in Hong Kong – a much larger group of around 2.9 million people according to British government figures.

Trending Stories

  • Religious leaders ‘outraged’ over Trump photo op at D.C. church amid George Floyd protests

  • George Floyd: What we know about the arrest, video and investigation

“If China imposes this law, we will explore options to allow British Nationals Overseas to apply for leave to stay in the UK, including a path to citizenship,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement.

“We will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.”

Beijing says the new legislation, likely to come into force before September, will tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in the city.

Chinese authorities and Hong Kong’s government say the legislation poses no threat to the city’s autonomy and the interests of foreign investors will be preserved.

© 2020 Reuters

Related news

Tesla Surge Lifts Elon Musk Higher On Billionaire List.

Tesla's surging stock value has boosted Elon Musk further up the list of top billionaires as he stands poised for yet another massive payout as soon as this week.

1 1

«I Made A Mistake» : Trudeau «Sorry» Over Controversial Charity Contract.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Monday for not recusing himself from discussions about a government contract to a charity that had paid his family large sums of money for speaking...

1 3

US Tech Giants Join Lawsuit Against New Student Visa Rule.

More than a dozen top American technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, on Monday joined a lawsuit filed by the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology...

1 2

'Glee' Actress Naya Rivera's Body Found, Last Act Was To Save Son: Police.

US officials on Monday found the body of "Glee" actress Naya Rivera in the Californian lake where she drowned last week during a boat trip with her four-year-old son.

1 5

«We Test More Than Anybody By Far» : Trump On COVID-19 Testing In US.

The United States has the biggest COVID-19 testing programme in the world, better than big countries like Russia, China, India and Brazil, President Donald Trump said on Monday, asserting that America...

By continuing to browse World News (UAZMI), you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and agree to the use of cookies