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Your checklist for moving from Hong-Kong to London

Honk Kong’s history is closely intertwined with the UK – the former British colony was handed back to China in 1997. More recently, the UK government has reached out to Hong Kongers, following the implementation of a draconian security law by Beijing. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced measures that would make three million residents eligible for UK citizenship – according to the Foreign Office, around 200,000 people are set to take up the offer.

If you’re planning on moving to London from Hong Kong, immigration will just be one thing on a long to-do list. So, get your head around everything you’ll have to organise to make a successful move by working your way through our relocation checklist.


According to the UK government: “the new Hong Kong BN(O) Visa will create a bespoke immigration route to enable British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, and their immediate family members, to move to the UK to work and study.”

From January 2021 BN(O) citizens can apply for two periods of 30 months’ leave or 5 years’ leave and will be afforded the right to live and work or study in the UK. Ultimately, this new immigration route – which represents a significant change to the UK system – will give BN(O) citizens a path to full British citizenship.

This route will also enable anyone born after 1 July 1997 to a British National (Overseas) registered parent to apply to come to the UK.

Choose a London neighbourhood

London certainly isn’t a shy city; its outgoing nature means it has something for everyone. With so much choice comes one slight problem: deciding where in this diverse metropolis you want to live.

The best way to overcome this rather pleasant problem is to focus your search. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s your budget?
  • If you have kids, what type of school do you want them to attend?
  • How far do you want to travel for work?
  • How far do you want to be from the centre of town?
  • What amenities do you want on your doorstep?
  • What are your interests?

Find a rental place in London

Once you’ve decided where in London you want to live – and had fun learning your Clapton from your Clapham in the process – it’s time to find your ideal home. Give yourself the best chance of getting this right by taking the time to understand the following factors:

  • Your budget – calculate a realistic budget – including the deposit – before beginning your property search.
  • Deposit protection – your landlord is required by law to put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (
  • Inventory of household contents – request a comprehensive inventory of household contents when you move in – this should describe the condition of everything listed.
  • Tenancy Agreement – this is a contract between you and a landlord, which lets you live in a property provided you pay rent and follow the rules.

Choose an international removal company

It’s over 9,600 kilometres from Hong Kong to London. So, take the hassle out of your big move by selecting a reputable international removal company. Make sure your worldly possessions are in safe hands by doing a little research:

  • Investigate their accreditations.
  • Request and compare quotes.
  • Check they have insurance.
  • Read reviews and testimonials.

Get help from the experts

Moving to London from Hong Kong has never been so appealing thanks to the UK government’s immigration offer. But with so much to organise on top of your right to live and work there, you should consider seeking assistance from a relocation specialist. Simply London’s comprehensive service covers everything on our checklist and more – including the all-important school search and settling in processes.



Note – This article does not constitute legal or immigration advice and you should always consult a qualified professional before undertaking any applications. The information in this article is based solely on our understanding as at the date of the article. Government legislation can change at any time.

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