Support for people from Hong Kong

-Information to help people arriving from Hong Kong to settle, live, work and find local services in Solihull.

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Solihull has proved to be a very popular destination for Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas (BNOs) status holders. You can apply for a new immigration route, enabling you and your dependents to come to the UK to live, work and study on a pathway to citizenship. The West Midlands Welcome Hub (WMWH) has been set up to support new arrivals from Hong Kong on the BNOs visa to access information to help integrate into the UK.

You can access a range of supporting information from the WMWH.

Solihull Council and its partners offer an array of support to BNOs who are due to arrive in Solihull or have recently arrived. Our support includes advice and guidance on:

  • housing and services
  • accessing education
  • healthcare
  • employment
  • starting a business
  • English language support
  • accessing public funds you're eligible for

The team also has a dedicated BNO Coordinator who provides dedicated support helping to connect new arrivals with local community/faith groups and other organisations across the area, along with providing advice and guidance on how to access services such as banking, employment, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and much more. 

If you would like to contact the Migration Team and learn more about the support they give, email


If you are settling in the UK under the BN(O) visa you will be entitled to access most NHS services free of charge after you have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge and your visa has been granted. People who have paid the surcharge are then entitled to NHS care without paying on the same basis as a permanent resident in the UK, although you may still be required to pay for additional services.

You may have to pay for some services such as prescriptions and dental care. You can access the following services free of charge: General Practitioners (GPs), also known as family doctors, hospitals, and maternity services.

Your health will not affect your immigration status or affect what NHS services are available to you. None of the people who work for the NHS, including doctors, nurses and interpreters will pass on any information about your health to any other person or organisation outside of the NHS without your permission (except in very exceptional circumstances, such as if the doctor believes you may be of harm to yourself or others).

If you or a family member has an accident or a sudden serious illness you should go to your nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, which is free for everyone.

If it is an extreme emergency call 999 and ask for an ambulance to transport you to a hospital. This service is free of charge and should only be used in an emergency. If you are able to, you may also make your own way to the A&E department. Do not use A&E for minor medical problems.

Once your medical situation has been stabilised in the A&E department you may need to stay in a specialist department of the hospital until you have fully recovered and can return home.

If you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation, call NHS 111.

The following information is about the health service in England - please check the separate websites for Wales, Scotland and NI.

Registering with a doctor - a General Practitioner (GP)

A GP is the first doctor you will usually visit when accessing healthcare in the UK. GPs are highly skilled doctors who are trained in all aspects of general medicine e.g. child health, adult medicine and mental health. Practice nurses are qualified and registered nurses who usually run clinics for long-term conditions e.g. diabetes.

Other healthcare professionals also work in GP practice, for example pharmacists and physiotherapists.

You will need to register at a GP surgery, also called a practice, near where you are living as soon as possible, even if you are not currently ill.

You can find out how to register with a GP surgery in the UK.

To register with a GP, you will need to give your name, date of birth, address and telephone number if you have one. GP surgeries may ask to see proof of identity with your name and date of birth (such as your passport or recognised identity card) and proof of address. However, they cannot refuse to register you if these are not available.

After you have registered with your new GP you might be asked to have a health check. This will usually be carried out by a nurse. It is important that you go to this appointment even if you are well. If you move to a different part of the UK, you will need to register with a new GP. You can only be registered with one GP practice.

Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are the most common problems. If you have been feeling depressed for more than a few weeks or your anxiety is affecting your daily life, make an appointment to speak to your doctor.  

Advice is also available on the NHS website to support you on your way to feeling better. The NHS website also gives details of support organisations and their helplines that you can contact for help and advice.

Your GP may want you to take medicines and will write you a prescription. Take your prescription to the pharmacy or chemist.  You can visit the NHS to find your local pharmacy or ask for advice at your GP surgery.   

The pharmacist can also give free advice on treating minor health problems, such as colds and coughs. You can buy some medicines from the pharmacy without a prescription, including some painkillers and cough medicines however you will have to pay for these medicines. You may be charged for prescription medicines.

All maternity care, including all antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal services provided to a pregnant person, a person who has recently given birth, or a baby, is covered by the NHS for an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) payer. Due to the severe health risks associated with conditions such as eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, and in order to protect the lives of both mother and unborn baby, all maternity services will be treated as being immediately necessary. No one must ever be denied, or have delayed, maternity services due to charging issues.

Maternity services cover care from the beginning of pregnancy through to sign off by a midwife: this is usually around 10 days after the birth but can be up to 6 weeks postnatally. Midwives ensure that personalised care is provided throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. Much of this care will be provided directly by midwives, who will also coordinate the provision of obstetric or other medical involvement if necessary.

Anyone settling in the UK under the BN(O) visa should contact a GP or midwife as soon as you find out you're pregnant. It's important to see a midwife or GP as early as possible to get the pregnancy (antenatal) care and information you need to have a healthy pregnancy. The NHS provides all you need to know about pregnancy, labour, birth and NHS maternity services. 

If you are settling in the UK under the BN(O) visa you will be entitled to NHS dentistry, which is a universal service and does not require residency. NHS dentistry is not free except for patients in an exempt category, so anyone settling in the UK under the BN(O) visa will have to pay just as a UK resident would.

Free exemptions apply in the following cases:

  • the treatment is free (for example to remove stitches, stop bleeding in the mouth, repair dentures)
  • the person is under the age of 18, or under 19 in full-time education
  • the person is pregnant or has had a baby in the last 12 months, a MAT B1 certificate or maternity exemption certificate (MatEx) must be shown to the dental practice


Before you begin viewing properties you should get a mortgage decision in principle. This is a written statement from a lender giving an estimate of what you can borrow. It gives you some indication of your budget and signals to sellers that you are serious about buying a property.

Getting a decision in principle from one lender does not mean you have to take out a mortgage with them. However, as part of the decision in principle, most lenders will carry out a credit search. Some lenders will carry out an initial enquiry that will not affect your credit score. Other lenders will undertake a hard enquiry that may affect your credit score. You should find out what type of enquiry lenders use, as too many hard enquiries could negatively affect your credit score.

A verbal offer can be renegotiated at any time up to until contracts are exchanged, but you should think carefully before renegotiating and only do so when a change is justified; for example, if the home survey identifies significant issues. Attempts to renegotiate the offer when a sale nears completion may cause delays and could risk the sale falling through.

As a BN(O) visa holder you have the right to rent in the UK. You will be able to use your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or your digital status to evidence your immigration status in the UK, including your right to rent.

To prove your status digitally to a landlord or letting agent you can use the online service at GOV.UK

Letting agents are free to carry out any referencing checks within the law as they deem appropriate before accepting a new tenant. This may include income requirements or the need for a guarantor, dependent upon the decision of the individual landlord. If providing references proves challenging for you, we would encourage you to discuss your personal circumstances with the letting agent or landlord about alternative forms of reference that might be acceptable.

Rented housing can be found through local lettings agents and on property listings websites. The types of privately rented housing available is different across the country.

When you find a house or flat you will probably need to pay a deposit. You will then need to sign a ‘tenancy agreement’. This is a legal contract between you and the landlord. Your tenancy agreement will set out how much rent needs to be paid and how often, a list of repairs and maintenance that are your responsibility and which are the landlord’s responsibility, and any other rules or restrictions e.g. smoking restrictions.

The tenancy will usually be for a fixed period of 6 or 12 months. The landlord must allow you to stay in the property for a minimum of 6 months. If you want a longer initial fixed period, you can ask whether the landlord is willing to agree to this. You will be obliged to pay the rent for the duration of the tenancy.

You can find out about your responsibilities and rights as a tenant in the Government’s How to Rent guide.

‘How to Rent Guide’, which is at:

You are liable for paying council tax for your property. This is a set amount for the financial year which runs from April to March, and you can pay this monthly. Council tax is a tax which goes to your local authority for local services such as care, social services, police and local facilities.

People who have no recourse to public funds are not entitled to receive local council tax support. However, you might be entitled to a discount or exemption, for example, if you are living alone.

In England, your local authority must help if you become legally homeless or at risk of homelessness. There are different types of support your local authority could offer. For example, they may offer you advice, emergency housing, support to find longer-term housing or help so you can stay in your home. The type of help that is offered depends on your eligibility for assistance, if you’re in “priority need”, and what caused you to become homeless.

If you become at risk of homelessness, you should contact your local authority as soon as possible. Your BN(O) visa has a “no recourse to public funds” condition attached, which will limit the support the local authority can provide. However, if you become unable to meet your essential living needs or do not have adequate accommodation, you can apply to have this condition lifted.

If you have successfully applied to have the “no recourse to public funds” condition attached to your leave, you may be able to apply for council housing in England. You can apply for council housing through your local council. You’ll usually have to join a waiting list and you’re not guaranteed to get a property.


You could get free hours childcare when your child is aged 2 to 4. You might be able to apply for:

Universal 15-hour entitlement: available for all 3 and 4-year-olds living in England, regardless of immigration status.

15-hour entitlement for some 2-year-olds: available to 2-year-olds considered to be disadvantaged. Eligible households include parents who are in receipt of government support such as Universal Credit or Tax Credits and earn below a certain income threshold. In addition, children who are looked after or have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) are eligible. Households with no recourse to public funds can access the 2-year-old entitlement as long as they meet the income requirements (earn less than £15,400 a year) and have a child in need, or because they are the main carer of a British citizen.

If you are settling in England and have a child aged 5 but under 16 you are required to ensure that they receive a full-time education.

This can either be:

  • within a state-funded school, which cannot charge you for your child’s education
  • within an independent school (otherwise known as a private school or public school), which will normally charge fees for your child’s education, or 
  • you can choose to home-educate your child.

4-year-olds will normally also receive a full-time education in a primary school, but you have the option of taking up a place part-time until the start of the term immediately after your child turns 5.

Alternatively, you can apply for your child to start school from the start of the term following their fifth birthday. Some schools will also provide education for young people aged 16-18. These young people can also apply to sixth form colleges, which normally provide education for young people aged 16 to 19 or colleges of further education which can provide education for anyone aged 16 and over.

Obtaining a school place for your child

For any help regarding finding a state-funded school place, please contact the school admissions team at Solihull Council:

Please note, if you are applying for a place outside the normal timescales then the number of places remaining in popular schools is likely to be limited. We therefore strongly recommend that you contact the school admissions team for any area in which you are considering settling, prior to you reaching a decision on where you will live, to ascertain the availability of places in schools in the area.

Further education (FE) includes any study after secondary education that’s not part of higher education (that is, not taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree). 

Eligibility for age 16-19 funding requires an individual to have the right to reside in the UK in line with the immigration rules determined by the Home Office. Your school or further education institution will be able to assist you in checking that you meet the residency requirements.

An apprenticeship is a real job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re an employee with a contract of employment and holiday leave. By the end of an apprenticeship, you'll have the right skills and knowledge needed for your chosen career.

It can take between one and six years to complete an apprenticeship depending on which one you choose, what level it is and your previous experience. It’s funded from contributions made by the government and your employer.

You will be eligible for apprenticeship funding in England if you have permission to live and work in the UK and meet the residency eligibility criteria in place at the time, as set out in the funding rules. One key eligibility requirement is the need to have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship, but you will be exempt from this rule if you have successfully obtained leave to remain. 16 to 18-year-old children of BN(O) status holders who have leave to remain will also be eligible for apprenticeship funding in England but may have to have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of the apprenticeship.

You will be eligible for apprenticeship funding in England if you have permission to live and work in the UK and meet the residency eligibility criteria in place at the time, as set out in the funding rules.

To become an apprentice, you must:

  • • be 16 or over
  • • not already be in full-time education
  • • live in England

You can start an apprenticeship whether you’re starting your career, want a change or you're upskilling in your current job. You can have a previous qualification like a degree and still start an apprenticeship. For more information on apprenticeships please visit:

Your children may be able to get free transport to school depending on how far the walk is, any special needs they have and whether the walk is safe.

All children between 5 and 16 qualify for free school transport if they go to their nearest suitable school and live at least:

  • 2 miles from the school if they’re under 8
  • 3 miles from the school if they’re 8 or older

Find details on free school transport.

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

All mainstream schools and colleges in England are expected to identify and meet the needs of children with SEND. Every school has a SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), who plays a key role in supporting children with SEND and their families. In addition, every school publishes a SEN Information Report on the school website so that prospective families can get a good understanding of the type of support that an individual school will provide for special educational needs. Schools cannot refuse admission to a child on the grounds that they have a special educational need.

Where a child has more complex special educational needs that may require support beyond what is normally provided in mainstream schools, there are special schools in every local area that can make suitable provision. Local authorities have a duty to identify children and young people in their area who have or may have SEN or have or may have a disability.

As part of that duty, we would expect Las to respond appropriately to arrivals who may require support, and to ensure these families are provided with advice and information as to how to ensure their needs are met most appropriately. Every local authority publishes a Local Offer which provides families with detailed information on the range of specialist provision in the local area.

You will be eligible to access further education and training including English language courses funded through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) if you are aged over 19 and meet the published residency eligibility criteria including the 3 years ordinary residency requirement. The AEB funding rules set out the general eligibility and residency criteria -  

Education and training will either be fully funded or co-funded (approximate 50% Government contribution) depending upon your age, prior attainment, and circumstances.

Privately run English language courses if you are wishing to pay a fee can be accessed via the British Council - Learn English | British Council

Information on proving your English language abilities with a secure English Language Test can be found at:   

Higher Education

You can search and apply for most higher education courses online.

You usually have to be 18 or older to take a higher education course. They’re usually taught in:

  • universities
  • colleges
  • specialist institutions like art schools or agricultural colleges

Higher education qualifications include:

  • diplomas
  • bachelor degrees
  • foundation degrees
  • postgraduate degrees

Universities control their own admissions policies and requirements so you should contact the relevant higher education provider you are interested in directly if you have any questions.

As the policy currently stands, you will still be an international student for fee purposes until you complete your pathway to settlement and receive indefinite leave to remain.

To qualify for home fee status in the UK, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the UK. There are also requirements associated with ordinary residence in the UK. Subject to meeting the normal eligibility requirements, you will be able to qualify for home fee status once you have acquired settled status in the UK. This also applies to any dependants.

Information on UK study options and the application process can be accessed via Study in the UK | British Council

Work, benefits and financial support

In the UK, workers are entitled to certain employment rights, including:

  • getting the National Minimum Wage
  • protection against unlawful deductions from wages
  • the statutory minimum level of paid holiday
  • the statutory minimum length of rest breaks
  • to not work more than 48 hours on average in a week or to opt out of this right if you choose
  • protection against unlawful discrimination
  • protection for whistleblowing - when reporting wrongdoing in a workplace
  • to not be treated less favourably if you work part-time

You may also be entitled to:

  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Paternity Pay
  • Statutory Adoption Pay
  • Shared Parental Pay

Agency workers have specific rights from the first day of employment.

For more information on employment rights visit  

Should you require further assistance in understanding your employment rights, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Finding a job will not only increase your income but will help you settle into your new life.

You have the right to work as soon as you have been granted the BN(O) visa. However, you will not automatically be given a job.

To understand the skills needed in Solihull, you can look at the Skills Advisory Panel data for the areas you are interested in:

The Government offers a free recruitment service that connects jobseekers with thousands of employers across the UK through Find a Job, a free service which allows jobseekers to search for work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can search for jobs without an account. To apply, you need to create an account or sign in. This also allows you to track your activities, create tailored job alerts, and store multiple CVs.

You are also encouraged to register with other external and independent agencies to widen your job search on job boards such as:

To get help to find a job, you can:

  • look on recruitment websites where jobs are advertised;
  • register with a recruitment agency who can find job vacancies for you;
  • visit local companies to ask about job vacancies.

Once you have identified a job you want to apply for, applications are usually made through an application form, or a CV (‘curriculum vitae’ - a formal list of your qualifications and experience) and a covering letter.

You can get careers advice and support from the National Careers Service. The National Careers Service delivers careers information, advice and guidance to adults in England - in the community, online and on the phone. Young people aged 13+ can also access information via the helpline 0800 100 900. The website contains a range of different career roles and progression routes. Further information can be found on

Employers may also ask to see your documentation. It will help if you can bring your original documents such as your BRP or be prepared to show your digital status to show evidence of your right to work in the UK. College diplomas and any other proof of your qualifications and experience will be helpful to show to employers. Employers may also ask for references from people who can verify your suitability for employment (such as a former managers, teachers or colleagues).

The NHS is the largest employer in the UK and there are currently over 80,000 vacancies for clinical and non-clinical (managerial, administration and auxiliary) roles in the health and care sector, all of which are open to Hong Kong citizens holding either a BN(O) visa or, if the role is clinical, the Health and Care visa.

Internationally trained staff have been part of the NHS since its inception in 1948 and continue to play a vital role.16% of nurses and 36% of doctors in England trained outside of the UK. Similarly, the social care sector employs 35% of nurses and 16% of all social care workers from beyond the UK. Working for the NHS offers a career working in world-leading hospitals while receiving extensive continuous professional development (for example £1,000 per nurse per year has been invested in professional training over the next three years). 

A good website to look at is NHS Jobs and for Social Care, Adult Social Care JobsNHS Employers holds guidance for the NHS regarding the acceptance of the BN(O) visa.

Nurses working in the NHS from Hong Kong have recently set up their own diaspora group which can provide advice and support to those looking for career in nursing on arrival to the UK. Their website is

You have a National Insurance number to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only. It’s made up of letters and numbers and never changes.

You can look for and start work without a National Insurance number if you can prove you can work in the UK. You can also go online to which allows you to authorise an employer to access your data to prove that you have the right to work in the UK.

Employers are required to conduct mandatory Right to Work checks on all prospective employees. Having a National Insurance number is not part of these checks, and the possession of a National Insurance number does not prove that an individual has a right to work.

If you do not have a NI number, you can find further information on how to get one. When making an application you will need to provide a copy of your passport and proof that you have the right to work. You will be advised of the documents you will need to provide when making your application.

BN(O) status holders with a non-UK professional qualification may need to have their qualification officially recognised to work in a profession that is regulated in the UK. It will need to be recognised by the appropriate regulator for their profession across the UK. In some cases, the qualification may need to be recognised by a national authority, rather than UK-wide authority, depending on the nation in which you intend to work.

Professionals with non-UK qualifications should contact the appropriate UK regulator for further information. 

If your quality has already been officially recognised by the relevant UK regulator, make sure you understand the terms of your recognition by checking in with that regulator.

Teachers from Hong Kong can gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England by completing an accredited course of teacher training in England. Alternatively, experienced teachers from Hong Kong with a degree could complete the assessment only route. There is more information on these available at

Teachers can also work without QTS in academies and free schools. Overseas teachers, including those qualified in Hong Kong, can also work in maintained schools without QTS for up to four years.

Teaching vacancies is the official job-listing service from the Department for Education and used by 17,000 schools to post their teaching roles. You can search for a job at a school or trust in England, save jobs and set up job alerts.

When you go to work, you have the right to be treated fairly and work in a safe environment. You also have the right to be able to work without fear or harassment from your employer, colleagues or customers.

Every employer in the country must pay their employees a minimum amount per hour. How much this is, depends on how old you are. Please check for the most up-to-date information.

The terms and conditions of your work will be outlined in your contract. Make sure you read this carefully, with an interpreter if necessary, before you sign.

You can get further advice about your rights and employer’s responsibilities by contacting ACAS on 0300 123 1100.

Organisations and businesses have a legal duty to treat everyone fairly in the workplace and in the way they recruit people for jobs. It is illegal to discriminate against anyone applying for a job or in the workplace on the basis of sex and gender reassignment, race, religion, being married or in a civil partnership, disability, age, sexual orientation or if they are pregnant.

Employers must therefore respect the needs of an employee if it does not interfere with the work they are employed to do.

If you think you have been unfairly discriminated against you can get further advice and support from the Equality Advisory Service.  

If you are being forced to work or your employer isn’t willing to respect your rights, you can also get advice from the Modern Slaver Helpline be calling 0800 0121 700.

Applying to access public funds

When you are granted leave on the BN(O) visa, you will have ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF). This means that you will not be able to access most public funds including benefits, tax credits and housing assistance that are paid by the state.

However, we recognise that people might fall on hard times and therefore, those granted leave on the BN(O) visa will be able to apply for a change of conditions to have their NRPF condition lifted in the event that they become destitute or are at imminent risk of destitution.

To apply for a change to your conditions, you will need to complete and submit a form to show that you are eligible for this change. 

You will be asked to provide sufficient evidence to show you meet the terms of the policy, including evidence of your financial circumstances and/or living arrangements.

Legal rights and responsibilities

Every person in the UK has the same basic human rights and freedoms, which are protected in law. These underpin how people live in the UK. For example:

Every person has a right to liberty

Every person has freedom of thought and the right to practice their religion. However it is illegal if, as part of this, you take part in activities which break UK laws. It is against the law to discriminate against or persecute someone because of their beliefs.

Values and responsibilities in the UK

Based on the rights and freedoms protected in law, everyone living in or visiting the UK is expected to adhere to a set of shared values and responsibilities:

  • respect and obey the law
  • respect the rights of others, including their right to their own opinions
  • treat others with fairness

There is a distinction between civil and religious marriages. Religious marriages are not recognised unless they are registered by the state. Some religious marriages are not recognised in the UK and couples entering into them must have a civil marriage as well.

The legal minimum age to marry in the UK is 16. In England you need parental consent to marry between the ages of 16 and 18. In England it is legal and accepted for men and women to marry, for women and women to marry and for men and men to marry. All of these marriages are protected by law. A marriage should be entered into with the full and free consent of both people involved.

Discrimination and hate crime

In the UK it is illegal to treat anyone differently because of their gender, race, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. Racism is unacceptable in the UK. It is a serious offence to injure, harass or verbally abuse someone because of their race or to damage their property for that reason. It is also against the law to stir up racial hatred. It is unacceptable to discriminate against another person because of their race, ethnicity or where they came from. You should not be treated any differently because of your race when applying for a job, looking for somewhere to live, using the National Health Service (NHS) or just buying something in a shop.

You should not experience racial harassment at work, school or in public (where other people make comments about your race or where you come from that are offensive or make you uncomfortable). If you or someone you know is the victim of racism do tell the Police about it. Do not try to deal with racism or racist attackers on your own.

We are confident that BN(O) status holders who choose to make the UK their home, and move here with their families, will be welcomed and able to integrate. Over the last year, police have worked with Chinese, East Asian and Southeast Asian communities to strengthen the services available to victims.

Targeting someone because of their race or other characteristic is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated and we encourage anyone who suffers hate crime or receives a serious threat against them to report it to the police, either by calling 101, 999 in an emergency or online at People should be able to live their lives free of harassment and fear.

Further reassurance for victims of Hate Crime can be found here at

You can find out more information about support if you are a victim of crime.


The Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa route was launched by Rt Hon Priti Patel, the Home Secretary at the time - you can read her statement at:

 If you have been granted the BN(O) visa it means that:

  • you and your eligible family members will be able to come to the UK to live, study and work in virtually any capacity, on a pathway to citizenship - after five years in the UK, you and your family members will be able to apply for settlement, followed by citizenship after a further twelve months
  • you can access public services e.g. healthcare and schools
  • you can work
  • you will have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ but can apply to change this in exceptional circumstances (see section 8 - Applying to access public funds)

Once you have been granted the BN(O) visa, depending on how you applied you will either be able to view immigration status information online (if you applied using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app) or receive a sticker (called a ‘vignette’) that goes in your passport.

If you have a vignette, you have to collect a biometric residence permit (BRP) after you arrive. You must do this before the vignette sticker expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later. You will choose where to collect your BRP from during your application.

Your BRP will include:

  • your name, date and place of birth
  • your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information)
  • your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services
  • please keep this important document safe as it is evidence of your legal status in the UK and shows how long you may stay in the UK for

Digital immigration status

If you applied for the BN(O) visa using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your BNO, HKSAR or EEA passport, you will not receive a vignette and you will not need to collect a BRP. Instead, you will be able to view your immigration status information online.

You can also use the online service to share your immigration status information with others, for example employers or universities.

Your online status will show:

  • your name, date and place of birth
  • your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • the dates your visa is valid (start date and end date)

As BN(O) visa holders you are entitled to live where you want in the UK.

For information on how to apply for British citizenship and guidance on aspects of living in the UK including registering to vote, please visit GOV.UK.

Getting Around Solihull

There is an extensive train and bus network across the UK. To use public transport, you usually have to buy a ticket before travelling. For national trains or buses, tickets are usually much cheaper if bought in advance.

You can find out more information on the national rail website You don’t need to show identification to travel between England and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland unless you are travelling by plane.

If you have a Hong Kong driving licence, you may drive small vehicles (such as motorcycles, cars, and vehicles up to 3500kgs or with up to 8 passenger seats) for up to a year on your national driving licence, provided it is still valid. To continue driving you must exchange your licence for a GB one. Licences must be exchanged within 12 months of becoming resident in the UK, or you must stop driving.

If you do not hold a Hong Kong licence or one issued in a country or territory whose licence the UK Government recognise for exchange, you must apply for a provisional driving licence and pass a British driving test. All applicants for a driving licence must meet the normal British requirements on health and minimum ages.

Drivers wishing to exchange their licences for a GB equivalent must meet the following requirements:

  • i. meet the necessary residency requirements
  • ii. licences must be valid at the time of application
  • iii. applicants must show that they did not obtain the licence by way of a previous exchange for one issued in a third country whose licensing and testing standards do not meet those applied in Great Britain
  • iv. licences issued as a result of a test passed in a vehicle with automatic transmission will be exchanged for a British licence with entitlement to drive automatic vehicles only

Applicants will need to complete a D1 application form available from Post Offices and from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and send it together with supporting documentation including proof of identity and proof of lawful residency.

If the document(s) you provide is not in English, you will need to provide a translation that has been issued in the UK and signed by an official translator belonging to the Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translation & Interpreting. A translator who is employed by a recognised translation company, who is a member of the Association of Translation Companies, is also acceptable.

Passports containing a visa/residency stamp must show indefinite leave to remain. Applicants in possession of a BRP card must send them with the application. The application should be sent to:

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
SA99 1BT

Further Information is available at

Get in touch

Solihull New Communities and Resettlement team can be contacted at: