China no longer considers British Hong Kong passports to be a legal travel document or means of identification. As of Sunday, the Chinese government will no longer recognize the “British overseas national passport,” the State Department said. let us know friday. With this decision, China wants to prevent Hong Kong people from using their British passports to enforce residency status in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 5.4 million Hong Kong residents would be eligible for UK citizenship with the document.
China has significantly tightened its grip on the former British Crown colony in recent months, including introducing a controversial security law. This has put pressure on the rule of law and democracy in the semi-autonomous region, and critics say the constitutional model increasingly resembles that of China. The law has also been used to revoke recognition of British passports abroad. The direct consequences of the Chinese decision for Hong Kong people with foreign passports are not immediately clear.
The anti-democratic developments were pitting the side of the British government, which was concerned about the sovereignty and autonomous status of Hong Kong. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has therefore announced Last july that Hong Kongers holding a so-called UK passport abroad are eligible for permanent residence in the UK. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people have requested such a document.
The additional fees for foreign passport holders would take effect from Sunday. Initially, the document allowed Hong Kong people to reside in the UK for only six months, which is extended to five years. Hong Kong people can also take five years of study and work on the island with such a passport. Then they have a real chance to get UK citizenship.
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