BNO holders could not settle in the UK permanently. BNO status was not granted automatically; eligible individuals had to register before the end of the transfer of the territory to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Aimed at British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) citizens ordinarily resident in Hong Kong and their immediate family members, holders will be allowed to move to the UK to live, work and study, and in time become eligible to register as British citizens. However, if the parents are BN(O) passport holders, they will also be eligible for this route to obtain British citizenship. After five years they could apply for "settled status" and then register as a British citizen after another year.[20]. The British National (Overseas) passport, commonly referred to as the BN(O) passport, is a British passport for persons with British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status. People born after July 1, 1997, are not eligible to apply even if their parents are BNO passport holders. I have never held a BNO passport nor an HKSAR passport since my birth and I would like to apply for BNO because I prefer a Commonwealth citizenship to a communist citizenship. Therefore, BN(O)s who wish to visit Mainland China must obtain Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao Residents in advance. These passports are also recognised by many other countries for visa-free travel purposes. Currant arrangements suggest that only people who have a BNO passport can proceed to apply under the new scheme. The British National (Overseas) passports have been criticised[citation needed] for being too expensive, as compared to the HKSAR Passport, which has so far gained visa-free access from a similar number of countries as has the BN(O). Millions of Hong Kong residents hold British National (Overseas), or BNO, passports. British National (Overseas) status is not recognized by the Government of China, so BN(O) passports are not recognized by Mainland China ports of entry controlled by Ministry of Public Security. Published 25 August 2015 Last updated 15 July 2020 — see all updates Only British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who registered as British nationals (overseas) before 1 July 1997 will be able to apply for their first or re-new their existing British National (Overseas) passports. The machine-readable zone starts with P