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MOSCOW, April 8 -- The United Kingdom has pledged to allocate £43 million (about US$59 million) to assist Hong Kongers who plan to move to the country through the new immigration scheme for British Nationals Overseas (BNO) status holders, reported Sputnik, quoting the UK government on Thursday.
UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on Thursday that BNO status holders from Hong Kong, who plan to move to the United Kingdom through the new immigration scheme, will receive a dedicated package of support to help them settle successfully in the country.
"Backed by over £43 million, the Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) Integration Programme will help status holders access housing, work and educational support to ensure they are able to quickly integrate and contribute to their newfound communities," the UK government said in a statement.
The statement added that 12 welcome hubs will be established throughout the country to help the families and individuals access housing, education and employment to build a life in the United Kingdom.
In response to the controversial national security law on Hong Kong introduced in July 2020 by Chinese authorities in Beijing, the UK government unveiled a new immigration route that would allow Hong Kongers who hold the BNO status to relocate to the United Kingdom.
The UK government estimates that between 258,000 and 322,000 BNO status holders are expected to move from Hong Kong in the next five years.
Beijing defended the new national security law as necessary to fight separatism, in the wake of more than a year of mass protests in Hong Kong.
China decried the new immigration programme from the United Kingdom as serious interference in its domestic affairs.