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2. Are some Hong Kong Chinese persons entitled to full British passports (not BNO passports)?

Many tens of thousands of Hong Kong Chinese persons hold full British passports. Some may have been born in the United Kingdom or settled there before 1962 when immigration controls were imposed on Hong Kong people. Others may have been allowed to settle there since that time and have been naturalised as British citizens.


The majority of Hong Kong Chinese persons who are entitled to full British passports successfully applied for them under the nationality selection scheme, by which the United Kingdom granted full nationality to tens of thousands of Hong Kong people in the early 1990s. China objected to the nationality selection scheme at the time, and as a result, British nationality that was acquired under the scheme is not recognised under Hong Kong and Chinese law. Successful applicants are still considered to be Chinese. Their United Kingdom passports are not recognised in Hong Kong or elsewhere in China, and they are not entitled to the protection of the United Kingdom Government anywhere in China.


Under United Kingdom law, persons who acquired British citizenship under the nationality selection scheme are entitled to full citizenship rights, including the right to live and work without restriction in the United Kingdom and other parts of the European Union.


The nationality selection scheme lasted for only a limited period, and applications closed well before the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. However, successful applicants are entitled to renew their British passports for their lifetime, and may transmit full British nationality to their children.