Hong Kong applicants for UK visas far outnumber those from the EU — Report

London — The UK received far more visa applications from Hong Kong than from the European Union after a new system was opened for former British colonial residents and post-Brexit rules began, Thursday. Was reported to.

According to the Oxford University Immigration Observatory, there were 34,000 applications from Hong Kong residents to live in the UK during the first three months of this year, compared to 5,354 visa types from EU residents. did.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, promising continued freedom not enjoyed on the mainland, such as freedom of expression and an independent legal system.

The influx of Hong Kong applications gives the UK a chance to curb objections and become a British citizen after the UK announced a new scheme from January 31st, residents applied for visas, and Beijing imposed a national security law last year. After giving.

The plan, created before 1997 and open to anyone with a British National Overseas Overseas (BNO) passport, a special status held by approximately 3 million Hong Kong residents, is 30 We anticipate that it could attract more than 10,000 people and their dependents.

On Thursday, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab spoke with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, to express Britain’s continued concern over Hong Kong.

Immigration observatories said that less visa acquisition from the EU was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent blockage, and the more expensive and restrictive post-Brexit system brought about after the end of freedom of movement. Said that it reflects. Earlier this year.

Observatory director Madrin Samphon said, “Usually after the end of free movement, we see employers struggling to figure out what they need to do to hire EU citizens. You might have expected it. “

“But the pandemic means that many employers do not yet need to use the new immigration system. Therefore, the number of EU citizens migrating to the UK under the new rules and how their implications are. It can take some time to figure out what it looks like. “

EU citizens who lived in the UK before 2021 can apply for settlement under another scheme.

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