Hong Kong

New U.K. Visa Scheme Would Allow 5.4 Million People To Escape Hong Kong

President Biden should also provide refuge for democracy lovers who want to escape authoritarian Chinese rule.


At the end of this month, the U.K. will officially introduce a new visa option that would give 5.4 million Hongkongers—or a little more than 70 percent of the territory's population—the ability to live and work in the U.K.

President Joe Biden, who took office yesterday and has already released a flurry of executive orders, should immediately follow the U.K.'s lead and offer visas to the roughly 7.5 million citizens of Hong Kong who have been crushed by Chinese intrusion that has permeated every corner of their once-free society.

The BBC reports that "the scheme is open to Hong Kong residents who claimed British National (Overseas), or BNO, status before the handover in 1997. A total of 2.9 million people registered and so can apply for the new visa."

"Their dependants—an additional two-and-a-half million people—are also eligible to travel with them," notes the BBC. Prior to this, people with BNO status could come to the U.K. for up to six months. With this rule change, they will now have the ability to do so for five years, then apply for settled status, then apply for citizenship.

Of course, the U.K. has more reason to look out for the plight of Hongkongers, given its complex history in the region: Hong Kong, formerly a British colony, was handed over to mainland China in 1997.

As I wrote earlier this month:

"When Britain handed the city over to China in 1997, a condition of the transfer was that Beijing would allow Hongkongers to maintain these political freedoms and a separately functioning system until 2047, at which point the agreement expires.

Beijing recently opted to seize control prematurely and suppress dissent, moves that have sparked months of protests and led to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people marching in the streets demanding that their freedoms be preserved."

Since the introduction of the vague national security law, an attempt by Beijing to suppress and criminalize all manners of dissent, activists and former legislators have been arrested, universities have culled faculty members, and some people have attempted to flee. The U.K. is right to allow people to seek refuge—something which very well may put its relationship with China on rockier footing—but more countries should immediately join the ranks.

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  2. “resident Biden should also provide refuge for democracy lovers who want to escape authoritarian Chinese rule.”

    “Those people” have an unacceptable independent streak, and actually know what communism looks like.
    They will have to go to Mexico and then cross illegally like everyone else.

  3. “President Biden should also provide refuge for democracy lovers who want to escape authoritarian Chinese rule”

    So DON’T bring them here?

    1. I mean, it’s here or [incoherent laughter] Britain.

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  4. We Koch / Reason libertarians have always known exactly how to handle instability and oppression anywhere on the planet. Our solution is simple: invite the entire population of the affected region to immigrate to the US. And now we finally have a President who shares our vision of open borders.


  5. All those Hong Kong boys got money. Bring ‘em on.

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    2. I was thinking about that. Sure the average salary is high there but refugees won’t be bringing those jobs with them. The median salary is a lot lower. The high rollers are going to follow the money to Singapore, Dubai, wherever it is.

      I would guess if we are talking political refugees it would be a pretty average mix, mostly young probably mostly educated.

      In any case I am close to open borders so it doesn’t matter that much to me. As long as you have no criminal record here is a temporary visa.

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  6. Come to England, so you can experience what an inefficient police state is like.

    1. Welcome to the UK! Now stay in your house or we’ll arrest and fine you.

      1. Not to mention warm beer and bad food.

    2. Wait. I thought that was California and New York.

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  8. Millions of people opposed to the CCP and socialism coming to the United States? I don’t think Biden will jump at the opportunity to let them in.

    1. I don’t know. Not everyone in Hong Kong is a pro democracy activist. Could be communist spies. Ted Cruz thinks so.

  9. I have relatives in Kowloon. Any Chinese whose parents came into HK after 1997 or was herself allowed to emigrate to HK was given the authorization by the CCP as reward for Party loyalty.
    Don’t let them in.
    People whose parents came into HK before 1997 or were born there of parents also born there should be allowed into the US.
    Besides controlling the number of CCP members coming to the US, this policy will have the added benefit of pissing off the CCP.

  10. Good, let them leave, hopefully it lower real estate and rent costs.

    Great, exciting city and china aint gonna change that part of it.

  11. That just makes the Taiwan the next step for the PLA. What do you do with those 23.5 million people?

  12. Any country would benefit tremendously from an influx of people who have direct, personal experience of how evil communism is.


  13. Sorry – America is full.
    No more foreigners. . . For 3 generations.

    Liquefaction is the key – it doesn’t only apply to the ground, as we’ve seen for the last 12 years. Societies are also susceptible to liquefaction. I suspect that cultures are, as well.

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