英國政府無計劃修例給予BNO持有人英國居留權

較早前有逾十萬名人士聯署要求英國政府給予BNO持有人英國居留權。今日英國內政部作出正式回覆,並向所有參加聯署的人發送回覆電郵。英政府目前無意修例改變政策讓BNO持有人可獲居留權,指此舉會違反中英聯合聲明。但政府又列出四種可讓BNO持有人取得英國居留權的方法,包括在英國住滿五年、長居香港但無國籍的人士、以及持有人本身無任何地方的居留權或國籍。以下為回覆的全文。

There are no plans to amend the law in this respect.

Only British citizens and certain Commonwealth citizens have the right of abode in the United Kingdom. British Nationals (Overseas) (BN(O)s) are eligible to travel to the United Kingdom visa-free, for a visit of up to six months. In regard to any extended stay, BN(O)s are not treated any differently to those of any other nationality when it comes to entry to the United Kingdom through study, economic or family routes. BN(O)s can settle in the United Kingdom, if they qualify under the Immigration Rules. They can hold a British passport and are entitled to consular protection when living or travelling outside of the UK, China, Hong Kong or the Macao Special Administrative Regions.

The only way that we could give a right of abode to BN(O)s would be by granting British citizenship. Ministers do not have discretion to do that outside of legislation, and there are no plans to amend the law to that effect.

In his 2007 Review of Citizenship, Lord Goldsmith recognised that to automatically give BN(O)s full British citizenship would be a breach of the commitments made between China and the UK in the 1984 Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong, and that to secure Chinese agreement to vary the terms of that treaty would not be possible.

However, BN(O)s can be registered as British citizens in certain circumstances:

a) If a person lives in the United Kingdom for a period of five years, and meets the specified residence requirements, they can apply for registration under section 4(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. Those applying under this section are not required to demonstrate the knowledge of English and knowledge of life in the United Kingdom requirements, and so are not required to pass the Life in the UK test or have an English language qualification in the same way as those applying for naturalisation.

b) The British Nationality Hong Kong Act 1997 also provides for the registration of British nationals who would otherwise be stateless and are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong.

c) BN(O)s can also apply for registration under section 4B of the 1981 Act if they do not have another citizenship or nationality.

Further information can be found on the Gov.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-citizenship-british-nationality.

The UK has a proud record of providing protection for people who need it, for as long as it is needed, in accordance with our obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. However, there is no provision within our Immigration Rules for someone to be allowed to travel to the UK to seek asylum or temporary refuge.

Home Office.

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A columnist in political development in Greater China region, technology and gadgets, media industry, parenting and other interesting topics.

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