UK to change immigration rules for Hong Kong citizens if China passes law

UK to change immigration rules for Hong Kong citizens if China passes law
UK to change immigration rules for Hong Kong citizens if China passes law

Johnson said the UK "has no choice but to maintain its relationship in the region".

China is facing increasing criticism of its planned legislation.

Many people in Hong Kong fear that this may end their unique independence, which the rest of China does not have.

Britain is already negotiating with allies including the United States and Australia, what China has to do if it implements the new law, which would be a crime to curtail Beijing's authority, and people start fleeing Hong Kong Will give

In the Times on Wednesday, the Prime Minister confirmed that if China passed the law, people holding British (foreign) passports (BNOs) in Hong Kong would be able to come to Britain for 12 months without a visa. They are currently allowed for six months.

About 350,000 people already have a BNO passport in Hong Kong, but another 2.6 million are also eligible.

Passport holders will also receive more immigration rights, including the right to work.

"It could put them on the path to citizenship," Johnson said.

Britain will not leave '

The Prime Minister said the immigration change would be "one of the biggest changes to our visa system in British history."

"If necessary, the British Government will take this step and take it voluntarily."

"Many in Hong Kong fear that their way of life, which China promised to defend, has been threatened.

"If China moves to justify its fears, Britain cannot in good conscience go away, and instead, we will fulfill our obligations and present an alternative."

Hong Kong is a former British colony. It was returned to China in 1997.

As part of an agreement signed at the time, he enjoys certain freedoms not seen in mainland China, and these are enshrined in a basic constitution known as the Basic Law.

BNO passports were issued to all Hong Kong nationals born before Chinese surrender in 1997 and they do not currently grant the right to live or work in the UK, providing the holder with some protection from the UK Foreign Service.

There has been widespread international criticism of China's proposed legislation, and the UK government's announcement is one step ahead of Britain's opposition.

On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb said the UK was negotiating with countries in a five-eyed coalition about how to handle a possible "exodus" of people from the region.

He urged China to reconsider its plans, which he said would threaten Hong Kong's autonomy and prosperity.

Senior lawmakers from Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have urged the United Nations to appoint a special envoy on Hong Kong to monitor how the new law affects human rights.

Earlier this week, seven former UK foreign secretaries urged Johnson to form a global coalition to coordinate a response.

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