Hong Kongers and welcomers gather to mark second anniversary of British National (Overseas) visa scheme and celebrate lunar new year.
Recently-arrived Hong Kongers and those helping them to settle and integrate in the UK gathered on Monday 30 January at an evening reception held by the Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers.
Participants also held up Fai-Chuns (red papers with Lunar New Year greetings), meaning “welcome”
and “Settle in well”, as they looked forward to the Year of the Rabbit.
31st January 2023 marks the two-year anniversary since the UK Government opened a new visa
route for British National Overseas (BN(O)) citizens in Hong Kong to move to the UK to live, work,
and study. Since then, over 140,000 Hong Kongers have arrived in the UK through this route. Many
organisations across the UK have offered support to help Hong Kongers to settle and integrate into
British society, with the help of UK government funding.
Daniel Korski, Chair of the Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers, highlighted the welcoming
work that is helping Hong Kongers to settle in the UK:
“Thanks to support from welcoming groups all over Britain, Hong Kongers are growing in confidence
with their English and are more able to make friends and find a job at the right level.
“I think everyone in the UK will hope that Hong Kongers can successfully settle and thrive here. We
can see how this is happening already, with new arrivals contributing to their local communities and
the wider prosperity of the UK. The welcoming effort is not just beneficial to Hong Kongers, but also
to the communities that they join.”
Daniel Korski also used a Lunar New Year greeting, “On Gui Lok Yip” (安居樂業), to wish people a
peaceful life and enjoyable work in the year ahead.
Felicity Buchan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department of Levelling Up, Housing and
Communities, which supports the welcome programme for Hong Kongers, said:
“We have strong historic ties with the people of Hong Kong and we are honoured that so many have
chosen to build a home here and have settled so successfully.
“I am proud that the Government continues to fund the Welcome Programme so it can deliver this
vital support through Welcome Hubs, councils and grass roots projects.”
Eddie, a BN(O) Hong Konger who is now a volunteer at UK Welcomes Refugees/UK Welcomes Hong
“Though starting a new life in a new place (UK) is full of challenges, it is a good chance for me to
unleash my potential. I appreciate the welcoming experience over the past seven months in London,
with lots of support from different organisations.”
Hei Chow, Senior Community Organiser of UK Welcomes Refugees/UK Welcomes Hong Kongers,
also a BN(O) Hong Konger himself, said:
“I can feel the momentum and motivation of Hong Kongers to help – not only confined to their own
community, but also to others in the wider community, when they are connected to each other by
To mark the second anniversary of the BN(O) scheme, the Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers
has also released a new video to showcase the efforts of the welcoming community across the
About the Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) welcome programme
At the same time as the Hong Kong BN(O) visa scheme was opened, the Department for Levelling
Up, Housing and Communities launched the Welcome Programme. Currently, 42 national and
regional projects have received funding for a range of support for Hong Kong BN(O)s to help them
settle into life in the UK, including access to English language classes and mental health services, help
for people to find jobs and start their own businesses, and to meet people in their local
communities, as well as a hate crime reporting service for BN(O)s and those of east and southeast
For more media information and to arrange interviews please contact:
Steve Ballinger, Director of Communications, Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers/British
Future, 07891 565592, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joyce Chiang, Communications Manager, Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers/British Future,
0775 484 9847, email@example.com
The Welcoming Committee for Hong Kongers, one of the five national BN(O) Welcome Programme
VCSE Grant recipients, was created in response to the BN(O) visa scheme. It brings together the
‘welcomers’ and the ‘welcomed’ and helps coordinate efforts across the UK’s nations and regions
from civil society, communities, business, education and government to support Hong Kongers to
settle in the UK. It also conducts research to inform policy, shares best practice and supports
organisations to make their voices heard. The Welcoming Committee is hosted at independent think
tank British Future, which works for a confident and inclusive Britain, welcoming and fair to all.