Types of British nationality

3. British overseas territories citizen

British overseas territories citizenship was called ‘British dependent territories citizenship’ before 26 February 2002.

If you were born before 1 January 1983

You became a British overseas territories citizen on 1 January 1983 if both of these applied:

  • you were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) on 31 December 1982
  • you had connections with a British overseas territory because you, your parents or your grandparents were born, registered or naturalised in that British overseas territory

You also became a British overseas territories citizen if you were a woman married to a man who became a British overseas territories citizen on 1 January 1983.

If you were born on or after 1 January 1983

You’re a British overseas territories citizen if both the following apply:

  • you were born in a British overseas territory
  • at the time of your birth one of your parents was a British overseas territories citizen or legally settled in a British overseas territory

You’re also a British overseas territories citizen if one of the following applies:

  • you were adopted in an overseas territory by a British overseas territories citizen
  • you were born outside the overseas territory to a parent who gained British overseas territories citizenship in their own right (known as ‘otherwise than by descent’)

Rights as a British overseas territories citizen

You can:

  • hold a British passport
  • get consular assistance and protection from UK diplomatic posts

Unless you’re also a British citizen:

  • you’re still subject to immigration controls - you don’t have the automatic right to live or work in the UK
  • you aren’t considered a UK national by the European Union (EU)

British citizenship

You automatically became a British citizen on 21 May 2002 if your British overseas territories citizenship was gained by connection with a qualifying territory.

The qualifying territories 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

Register as a British citizen

You may be able to register as a British citizen if you became a British overseas territories citizen after 21 May 2002 and meet certain conditions.