Immigration Advice Service
03334149244 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 8 pm

Find an office

21 offices in the UK


We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
We are now open 7 days a week from 7.30 am to 10 pm.
4.7 rating 2649 reviews

UK Criticised For Lack of Mental Health Support for Hongkongers

The UK has been criticised for not adequately supporting Hongkongers who have come to the UK to escape China’s restrictive national security laws.

For help and expert advice on your immigration case, contact us on 0333 305 9375 or reach out to us online today.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Anxiety and PTSD Symptoms Reported

    More than 120,000 applications for the British National (overseas) (BNO) passport have been made since the route opened in January 2021. The BNO passport allows eligible Hongkongers to live, work and study in the UK, and eventually apply for indefinite leave to remain.

    However, concerns have been raised over the lack of support for Hongkongers who have travelled to the UK but are still afraid of being targeted under China’s national security laws.

    According to a survey conducted by the civil society group Hongkongers in Britain, 25.8% of new arrivals from Hong Kong reported symptoms of anxiety, and 23.8% reported symptoms of PTSD.

    UK passport

    Lack of Government Support

    The founder of Hongkongers in Britain, Simon Cheng, has stated that the true figures were probably higher but appear low because of the stigma around discussing mental health.

    He also stated that more needs to be done by the government to help support Hongkongers settle into the UK and recover from their traumatic experiences. He cited a lack of Cantonese language services in the UK, as well as a lack of staff with sufficient mental health awareness training who can show sympathy and understanding of what happened to residents in Hong Kong.

    This has been further supported by the director of policy and advocacy at the human rights NGO Hong Kong Watch, Sam Goodman, who states that “It’s within the government’s own interest to ensure that people have the right mental health support, so that they can actually get jobs, can settle down in the UK, and contribute and integrate. At the moment that’s sort of being overlooked.”

    Welcome Programmes

    Despite these criticisms, a spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities stated that many BNO passport holders have been supported by a targeted welcome programme.

    “The programme includes targeted English-language provision and has funded 47 organisations to deliver national and regional projects for BNOs, including projects to support their emotional wellbeing and mental health needs,” the spokesperson stated.

    They also went on to say that the government is currently amending the BNO passport route to include adult children of BNO status holders who are currently unable to apply for the passport independently.

    Do you need help with an immigration issue? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

      Fill out the form

      You may be interested in reading about.

      We can help you if you need help with your visa application or immigration case. Call us now

        Fill out the form

        Advice Package icon

        Advice Package

        Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

        Application Package icon

        Application Package

        Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

        Fast Track Package icon

        Fast Track Package

        Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

        Appeal Package icon

        Appeal Package

        Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

        Advice Package image

        The Advice Package

        With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

          Fill out the form

          Request the Advice Package
          Application Package image

          The Application Package

          With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

            Fill out the form

            Request the Application Package
            Fast Track Package image

            The Fast Track Package

            Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

              Fill out the form

              Request the Fast Track Package
              Appeal Package image

              The Appeal Package

              By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

                Fill out the form

                Request the Appeal Package