British overseas territories citizenship (BOTC)

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British overseas territories citizenship is the class of British nationality associated with the British overseas territories. It describes the legal attachment or bond for persons who may be said to belong to the British overseas territories.

In addition, each British overseas territory has the capacity to legislate and make provision for its own immigration law and thus to define who belongs to it and who has the right of abode in that territory.

Both the immigration law and the nationality law of a British overseas territory must be consulted in order to determine who is entitled to live in, come and go into and from it. In other words who may live and work in that territory free of immigration controls.

At present the British overseas territories are Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat;  Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands;   St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha;  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia;  and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

British overseas territories citizenship is a creation of statute and the core provision for it is found in Part II of the British Nationality Act 1981.  It does not carry the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

British overseas territories citizens who acquire that status by virtue of a connection with Gibraltar are considered to be UK nationals for the purposes of EU law and such persons  hold the additional status of EU citizen. Such persons enjoy rights of free movement within the European Union.

Since 21 May 2002 most (but not all) British overseas territories citizens are British citizens.

British overseas territories citizenship has modes of automatic acquisition, for example through birth in a British overseas territory to a parent holding a relevant status, or by descent from a British  overseas territories citizen otherwise than by descent. It also has modes of acquisition that require an application to be made and thereafter a grant of citizenship by way or naturalisation or registration.

British overseas territories citizenship also has modes of loss. For example it may be renounced, or it may lost through deprivation of citizenship on grounds of fraud or conduct.

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