Despite being British nationals, most British overseas citizens do not have UK right of abode. These citizens would have retained their British nationality after independence took place.
Individuals would have become a British overseas citizen (BOC) on the 1st of January 1983 if (both):
The rules changed on the 30th of June 1997 when the sovereignty of Hong Kong returned to China. A British overseas territories citizen (with only a Hong Kong connection) would have lost that citizenship.
Nonetheless, you would have become a British overseas citizen if either of these apply to your situation:
British overseas citizens can:
But, unless you are a British citizen as well as a British overseas citizen:
Note: There are only limited circumstances in which you can apply to become a British overseas citizen (BOC).
Being stateless means you are not recognised by any country as having a nationality. But, if you are 'stateless', you might be able to register as a British overseas citizen if (both):
There is another way for a stateless person to register as a British overseas citizen. It may be possible if all these apply to your situation:
There are two different application forms depending on when you were born. Fill in the most appropriate form for your situation:
There are special rules to register a child under 18 as a British overseas citizen. Use the 'form to register a child under 18 as a British Overseas citizen: form MN3'.
As a British overseas citizen, you may be able to register as a British citizen if you meet certain conditions. You can check your eligibility to become a British citizen in a different section.
British Overseas Citizen Rights and Entitlements Explained