The UK government has estimated that over 300,000 Hong Kong residents will eventually take advantage of the visa schemes available, which allows them to live, work and study in the UK. We explore some of the reasons why so many Hongkongers are choosing to call the UK home.

By John Ashwood

Over 30,000 Hong Kong residents have already applied for a new fast-track UK residency scheme during Q2 of 2021, according to the UK Home Office.

The applications for the visa opened on 31 January 2021 and is for British National (Overseas) (BNO) status holders and/or Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport holders.

If successful, applicants can stay in the UK for five years and can apply for full UK residency.

Close ties between Hong Kong and the UK and the Channel Islands

As residents of a former British colony, Hong Kongers have long enjoyed rights to stay for extended periods in the UK.

Many have settled in London, in fact between July 2020 and March 2021, London estate agency Benham and Reeves estimates that Hong Kongers bought over $1.3bn of residential property in London.

However, the Isle of Man is also proving attractive to Hong Kongers, particularly those who want to relocate their businesses. The Isle of Man’s enterprise minister Laurence Skelly pointed out the island has the same immigration rules as the UK and strong links with Hong Kong.

Why move from Hong Kong to the UK?

The UK has the world’s fifth largest economy, the fourth largest stock exchange and four of the world’s top universities. According to the UK Government it also ranks number one for attracting the world’s most rated business, economic and cultural talent.


The UK government has long supported small and large businesses including providing a furlough scheme where companies were supported to keep on staff, which has helped the UK emerge from the pandemic. The OECD predicted that the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow 7.2% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022, as lockdown restrictions ease.


In the same survey above, OECD has also cited the UK’s extensive Covid-19 vaccination programme as helping boost both the UK economy.


The UK’s education system ranks as one of the highest in the world, according to the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Relocating from Hong Kong to the UK

If you are considering moving your family or your business, there are some key considerations to take on board. Tax implications on your income,  residential property purchases, inheritance or Capital Gains Tax are key elements to address prior to any relocation, but more generally it might also be an opportunity to consider intergenerational wealth planning.

How ZEDRA Can Help

Moving abroad your family or your business can be challenging and often daunting. ZEDRA has a wealth of experience in providing tailored advice to families and companies with personalised solutions to protect and maximise their assets. We offer a multi-territory coordination service to ease the burden of managing this process across borders, gaining a strong understanding of your family circumstances, your goals, what matters most to you, and delivering a first class service. Contact John Ashwood or Jacqueline Shek to find out how we can help.

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