Rejection humiliating for Hong Kong people
It is infuriating to learn that the British Trade Commission has rejected the applications for British National (Overseas) passports (BNO) by the Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTC) who missed the deadlines, for one reason or another.
According to the Immigration Department, there are thousands of BDTC passport holders who have not obtained BNO passports.
When they apply for BNO passports now, they must have genuine needs. However, genuine reasons, like sickness, will not satisfy the commission.
In fact, their BDTC passports will expire on June 30, of this year. If they do not have other travel documents, people cannot go abroad. Therefore, I do not see why their applications should have been refused. Hong Kong people find this rejection by the commission, humiliating.
In addition, it is a violation of human rights (that is, freedom of travel). It seems the British Government does not care about creating a poor impression before its retreat.
If the commission says it is acting according to the rules laid out by the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986, I would suggest that BDTC holders who do not have BNO passports before July 1, should seek a judicial review or simply sue the British Government in July, because the order also provides that, 'Any Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizen who does not obtain a British National (Overseas) passport and would otherwise become stateless on 1 July 1997 will automatically become a British Overseas citizen.' Hong Kong people know that they have, in effect, been stateless under British rule. No one has ever thought that BDTC or BNO passports could prove that we were British citizens. The British Government is so hypocritical.
LAWRENCE CHOI Aberdeen