These are issued by the United Kingdom Government to Hong Kong residents who had British nationality by virtue of a connection with Hong Kong before reunification with China in 1997. [10], As of 17 April 2020, the number of valid British National (Overseas) passports in circulation was 357,156. To further differentiate British Nationals (Overseas) from British citizens regarding EU freedom of movement rights, BN(O) passports renewed after 29 March 2019 carry the additional endorsement: The Holder is not entitled to benefit from European Union provisions relating to employment or establishment. Go through the following to understand where it is that you exactly stand on the British nationality scale and whether or not you qualify for a British passport. British passports issued to British citizens after 29 March 2019 no longer carry the words "European Union" on the cover, making them identical to BN(O) passports in appearance. 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). The machine-readable zone starts with P