'This is for my children': Hong Kongers prepare to seize UK offer of a new life

This is not how Mrs Lee imagined her center age in Hong Kong: doing an nameless interview, the use of a pseudonym, as she prepares to depart her house.

“I’m a conventional Hong Konger,” she tells Sky Information. “I imagine there must be justice.”

“I am not younger. I am 48 and my husband is in his fifties. I’ve two kids. That is for my kids.”

Mrs Lee is amongst loads, if now not hundreds, of Hong Kong citizens getting ready to depart the territory and soak up the United Kingdom’s be offering of a trail to citizenship there.

Mrs Lee is preparing to take up the visa offer, fearing what will become of Hong Kong
Mrs Lee fears for Hong Kong and is making plans to start out afresh in Britain

Ultimate yr’s protests, and Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping nationwide safety legislation this yr, have grew to become Mrs Lee and her circle of relatives – her kids are faculty age – into not likely refugees.

Sooner than that, she says she were “a Hong Kong pig” – any person extra involved for their very own well-being than politics.

“If I had no kids I would possibly keep right here and be a at ease Hong Kong pig. I am midway via my lifestyles already. But if I’ve kids so younger, they are able to’t be restricted right here.”

“If I keep in Hong Kong, I can be a 2d or third-class citizen. I can by no means have the proper to vote [for the city’s leader]. And I can handiest have a Hong Kong passport.

“But when I’ve the chance to visit the United Kingdom, and we give a contribution to society, then my kids shall be top notch electorate, as a result of they will have a British passport and the proper to vote.”

Mrs Lee thinks that she is going to get started a trade in Manchester, most likely a cafe.

“We recognize that the United Kingdom has opened this door to us,” she says.

After Beijing imposed the nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong, the British govt made an be offering to these eligible for a British Nationwide (Out of the country) Passport – which means someone born ahead of the handover of Hong Kong in 1997 and their dependants.

Round 3 million persons are eligible.

BNO electorate will be capable of keep and paintings in the United Kingdom for 5 years. After any other yr, they’ll be allowed to use for citizenship.

China has reacted angrily, accusing the United Kingdom of interfering in its inner affairs, and has threatened to forestall recognising BNO passports, despite the fact that the real implications of that don’t seem to be transparent.

The UK has expressed 'deep concern' over the new law
The United Kingdom has expressed ‘deep worry’ over the brand new safety legislation

However it isn’t having a lot of a deterrent impact on other folks in Hong Kong.

Billy Wong, an immigration advisor, tells Sky Information that there was a “large” build up in call for.

He estimates that, ahead of the alternate within the BNO coverage, it will value between £300,000 and £400,000 to transport to the United Kingdom – lots of the cash wanted for an innovator visa to start out a trade, the remaining for dwelling bills.

Now the whole value shall be within the hundreds.

Mr Wong says it is more straightforward for Hong Kong other folks to transport to the United Kingdom than Taiwan, a conventional vacation spot.

Immigration consultant Billy Wong has seen a 'massive' increase in demand
Immigration advisor Billy Wong has noticed a ‘large’ build up in call for

“The brink for UK immigration has all the time been somewhat prime,” he tells Sky Information. “Now that the door for BNO is open… the United Kingdom turns into a more sensible choice, proper to your doorstep.”

However others don’t seem to be shifting – a minimum of now not but.

Pong, a movie and documentary maker, had a BNO passport nevertheless it expired greater than 10 years in the past. He does not plan to get any other.

Sky Information asks what it will take for him to depart Hong Kong.

BNO passport
The be offering is open to someone eligible for a British Nationwide (Out of the country) Passport
Film-maker Pong says he is is staying put in Hong Kong - for now
Movie-maker Pong says he’s staying installed Hong Kong – for now

“Possibly if the liberty of speech shrinks to an extent that it impacts my filming and artistic manufacturing,” he says.

“If it will get so dangerous that my lifestyles is in peril, or that I can get arrested – at that time I would possibly believe leaving.”

At that time, although, would he be capable of go away?

“It is true,” he says. “If I wait till then, it could be too overdue.”

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