142,000 Hongkongers have applied for a special British citizenship visa. One-third of them are under the age of 18. Those between the ages of 25 and 54 make up the majority.

Experts stated that the government should focus more on home-grown talent rather than only attracting non-local people.

According to official figures collected by the South China Morning Post, 38,600 Hongkongers under 18 applied for the British National (Overseas) (BNO) between January 31, 2021, and June 30 this year. 

The report added only 16% of those requests were filed from the U.K.

55 %, or 78,100 applications, of those who applied for the special visa were Hongkongers between the ages of 25 and 54.

According to Home Office data, Hong Kongers between the ages of 35 and 44 accounted for 32,600 applications.

Of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents, an estimated 5.4 million are eligible for the program.

Data issued by the Home Office in August shows that a total of 133,124 Hongkongers have received approval for the citizenship route since the scheme was launched.

The U.K. government kicked out the program in January 2021. The move came after Beijing imposed a national security law on the former British colony. 

Last month, the U.K. government recently expanded the program’s eligibility to include younger people with at least one parent with BNO status.

People with at least one parent with BNO status born after the 1997 handover will soon be allowed to apply for the BNO visa without their parent’s assistance.

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