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British Overseas Territories Citizen

The original title for these citizens was 'British dependent territories citizenship'. But, the term has become British overseas territories citizenship since the 26th of February 2002.

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.

British Citizenship

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:

  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Montserrat
  • 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.

Rights and Entitlements of British Overseas Territories Citizen Explained