Programme also expected to benefit UK economy
LONDON, Jan. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- New research commissioned by immigration specialist InvestUK has revealed the British public's positive perceptions of the new Hong Kong British National Overseas (BNO) Visa scheme, ahead of its opening for applications from 31 January 2021. The survey conducted by YouGov found that those expressing a preference supported the BNO programme by a margin of over 2:1 (49% vs. 21%), suggesting that Hong Kong people can expect a warm reception when considering immigration to the UK under the new route.
With the IMF forecasting the UK's GDP to return to growth of 4.5% in 2021, the research also found that the British public expect the BNO programme to have a positive impact on the UK economy by a ratio of 3:1 (43% v 13%) among those expressing a preference.
According to the survey, British people have an overwhelmingly positive impression of the characteristics of Hong Kong people, with respondents most commonly associating them with being hard-working (41%), well-educated (35%) and entrepreneurial (28%). These traits will be particularly relevant for new arrivals from Hong Kong seeking employment opportunities in the UK.
Rupert Gather, Chairman of InvestUK, said, "Finding the right job is critically important to successfully immigrate into a new country. Based on these findings, Hong Kong people moving to the UK should be highly valued by potential employers. However, they will also need to ensure they find support to understand how to navigate the UK job market, tap into the right networks for vacancies and best showcase their skillsets."
Despite the current economic volatility, Office of National Statistics figures show that the UK job market had 578,000 vacancies as of December 2020, up by 14% compared with the previous quarter, suggesting there are opportunities available for new arrivals. Estimates by the UK Home Office indicate that 123,000 to 153,000 people with BNO status and their dependants could arrive in the UK in the first year of the scheme.
With extensive experience of helping international talent relocate to, invest and start businesses in the UK, InvestUK recently launched BNO Premier, a complete solution to assist Hong Kong people in successfully immigrating to the country, with a free booklet containing essential advice available to download at https://www.bnopremier.com/.
Note to Editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,671 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 25th January 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).