BOTC refers to any individuals who migrated to the United Kingdom from a British overseas territory. The term can also apply to UK-born descendants of these citizens.
Born before 1st of January 1983
Some of the rules that determine United Kingdom nationality changed in 1983.
You would have become a British overseas territories citizen if, on January 1st 1983, (both):
- You were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) on the 31st of December 1982.
- You had connections with a British overseas territory. It could be that you, your parents (or grandparents) were born, registered, or naturalised in a British overseas territory.
Were you a woman married to a man who became a British overseas territories citizen on the 1st of January in 1983? If so, you would also have become a British overseas territories citizen (BOTC).
Born since 1st of January 1983
Were you were born on or after the 1st of January 1983? If so, you would be a British overseas territories citizen if (both):
- You were born in one of the British overseas territories (see below).
- One of your parents was either a British overseas territories citizen or ‘legally’ settled in a British overseas territory at the time of your birth.
You would also qualify as a British overseas territories citizen if either of these apply to your situation:
- A British overseas territories citizen adopted you in an overseas territory.
- A process known as ‘otherwise than by descent’. It means you were born outside of a overseas territory to a parent who gained British overseas territories citizenship in their own right.
Rights as a British Overseas Territories Citizen
British overseas territories citizens can:
- Hold a British passport.
- Get consular assistance and protection from United Kingdom diplomatic posts.
But, unless you are a British citizen as well as a British overseas territories citizen:
- You would still be subject to immigration controls. In this case, you would not have the ‘automatic’ right to live or work in the United Kingdom.
- The European Union (EU) would not consider you as a United Kingdom national.
Note: Some individuals became a British citizen on the 21st of May 2002 by automatic process. It applied if your British overseas territories citizenship was due to a connection with a qualifying territory.
The qualifying territories for British overseas territories citizenship (BOTC) are:
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Registering as a British Citizen
Did you become a British overseas territories citizen since the 21st of May 2002? If so, you may qualify to register as a British citizen if you meet certain conditions.