LOTR case study: Ashley’s story ⦁ LOTR 成功例子: Ashley的故事

Leave Outside The Rules stamp

Ashley (not his real name) arrived in the UK on 6 August 2020 and was successfully granted Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR) at the UK border. He talked to Ying Goi Dim about his experience.

We followed up with Ashley later when he found a job, and eventually went back to Hong Kong.

I resigned in early July, bought a one-way ticket, and arrived in the UK one month later • 「我七月頭辭職,買咗張單程機票,一個月後到英國。」

I am not married and decided to move to the UK in June. I handed in my resignation letter in early July and worked till 31 July. I landed at Heathrow airport on 6 August.  

On the same flight I met a family of four from Hong Kong that was also applying for LOTR. They are in the process of applying for a start-up visa as well as student visas for the kids, but decide to come on LOTR before the academic year starts so their kids can start school in September.

I had everything they asked for before I boarded the plane • 「我上機之前已經預備晒所有佢哋需要嘅文件。」

In terms of money, I put around HK$45,000 between my Monzo (an online bank) account and my Transferwise “borderless” account. I had a little bit of cash with me, too.

I rented a place via Airbnb before I landed. Now that I have settled in for a few days, I managed to rent a place on a 3-month contract via flat-sharing site Spareroom. 

I also had full health insurance sorted out before coming. 

At the border, I gave the officer my BNO passport and said I wanted to apply for LOTR •  「過關嘅時候,我比我嘅BNO護照佢,然後同佢講我想申請LOTR。」

He took me to a waiting area and asked me a few questions. The questioning lasted no more than 3 minutes:

  • Are you single, or coming as a family?
  • Where do you plan to live in the UK?
  • What was your job before you left Hong Kong?
  • Can you show me your bank statement?

He took with him my passport and bank statement, which showed that I only had HK$20,000 in it. He came back 15 minutes later with a chop on my passport that said I now have leave to enter for 6 months. 

My LOTR was approved in 15 minutes and the Border Force officer was very friendly •   「15分鐘就批咗LOTR ,而且負責嘅官員非常之友善。」

He asked me to give him the address of where I would be staying and my mobile number. I applied for a UK number already when I was in Hong Kong, but I also left him the mobile number of my Airbnb host. 

Today’s my 5th day in the UK and I went for my first job interview •  「今日係我喺英國嘅第五日。我見左我第一份工。」

I worked in a sales department in Hong Kong, but I am not confident with my English just yet to interview for a salesperson job here. I was interviewing for a more basic job. 

I don’t have any friends here yet, but I am willing to start a new life. 

Here is my advice to Hong Kongers who are eligible in getting an LOTR • 「以下係我比香港有需要申請LOTR嘅人嘅建議。」

  • Make sure you have your bank statements with you to show how much money you have. 
  • You may still have bills to pay in Hong Kong, such as unfinished broadband contracts, so set up online payments for all these accounts and don’t owe anyone any money.
  • Setting up an account with Transferwise has proven helpful. With a “borderless” account I was given a debit card, which is necessary in the UK now as many places don’t accept cash due to Covid-19.

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