Dependants of BNO passport holders who were born after 1 July 1997 are not eligible to apply for a BN(O) passport since they are born after the UK’s handover of Hong Kong to China. Am I eligible for a BNO passport? [7] As of 31 December 2015, there were only about 143,200 holders of BN(O) passports.[8]. BNO passports were issued to Hong Kong residents born before the handover of the territory from the UK to China in 1997. The British National Overseas (BNO) passport is a travel document that allows people to get consular assistance and protection from UK diplomatic posts. Any British Dependent Territory Citizens with connections to Hong Kong who had failed to register themselves as British Nationals (Overseas) by the end of 30 June 1997 would also be ineligible to make further claims for BN(O) from 1 July 1997, and those people would either become Chinese nationals or British Overseas Citizens. [15], In the early years after the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, the issue of counterfeit British National (Overseas) passports aroused international attention and government scrutiny, as such passports were being manufactured and used by illegal immigrants from the mainland of the People's Republic of China, who wished to gain direct access to the United Kingdom by way of Hong Kong. The machine-readable zone starts with P