Student fears conviction may cost him UK visa

20 Sep 2016 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A Hong Kong student who was one of the leaders of protests there in 2014 says he fears his UK visa to study at the London School of Economics may be withheld because of the part he played in the pro-democracy campaign.

Alex Chow graduated from university in Hong Kong and has secured a place to study a master’s degree in city design at the top university. However, he is now concerned he may have to give up the place because he has not yet received his visa.

He applied for a UK visa via the priority scheme at the British Consulate in Hong Kong on August 23. These visas are supposed to be processed within three to four working days.  He last heard from immigration authorities at the start of September in an email that apologised for the delay but did not give a reason for it.
 
Alex led the Hong Kong Federation of Students during the demonstrations and in July this year, he was given a three-week suspended sentence for his part in the campaign. He believes this conviction is why he has not yet received his UK visa to study in London.
 
Alex told The Guardian he thought it was “very likely” that this was why he had not received his visa. He added: “I guess that is the issue. I think this damages the image of the UK.”
 
The umbrella protests in Hong Kong in 2014 lasted for 79 days. Protesters occupied streets around the former British colony in support of more democracy.
 
Alex was convicted alongside Joshua Wong over the protests. They were found guilty of unlawfully entering a fenced-off area beside the Hong Kong’s government headquarters two days before the protests started in September 2014.