Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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HomeGovernment PolicyNationality and Borders Bill: Chagossian pathway to UK Residency announced

Nationality and Borders Bill: Chagossian pathway to UK Residency announced

Why we have created this route

  • the Home Office has listened to the concerns raised by the Chagossian community about the impact the combination of the removal of the Chagossians from the British Indian Ocean Territory in the 1960s and 1970s, and the limited recognition of their removal in nationality legislation, has had on their ability to access British nationality
  • having carefully considered the unique situation of the Chagossians, we have concluded it would be feasible to create a bespoke British nationality route for Chagossians, without weakening the general legal principles governing the acquisition of British nationality overseas by descent.

Key information

  • the Chagossians are the former residents of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) also known as the Chagos Islands, who were removed from the islands, predominantly to Mauritius, between the mid-1960s and early-1970s.
  • while those Chagossians born on the islands and their children born outside British territory hold British nationality, subsequent generations born outside British territory currently have no entitlement to it
  • the Nationality and Borders Bill will create an entitlement for direct descendants of Chagossians who were born on the islands that now form part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, and who are not already British Overseas Territory citizens (BOTCs) or British citizens, to acquire both those forms of British nationality
  • the Home Office will create an application process that will allow direct descendants, to apply to be registered as a BOTC and as a British citizen. Applicants will not be required to pay an application fee
  • the application process will be time limited. All applications from adults must be made within 5 years of the process commencing
  • those under the age of 18 years old and those born during the 5-year period for making applications will have until the age of 23 to decide if they wish to apply under this route.

An article worth reading on the subject:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/01/evicted-chagos-islanders-descendants-to-get-british-citizenship

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