British Protected Person

As of 2020, there were 1,200 British protected persons subject to unique requirements and rights.


What is British Protected Persons Status

If you are a British protected person, you are effectively stateless, living in a territory controlled or once controlled by the British Empire. This means that you will be a national that possesses a British passport, but you will not have direct access to British citizenship. The UK government lists three key reasons that someone will have this status. These included that you met the following requirements on 1st January 1983:

  • You were a citizen or national of Brunei.
  • You already had protected person status.
  • You were born stateless in the UK or in one of its overseas territories, and one of your parents was a British protected person.


The History of British Protected Persons

When the British Empire was expanding, it swallowed up countless territories. However, it wanted to incorporate only some of them into a territory formally controlled by the Empire. Instead, it decided they would be classed as foreign land under British protection.

The people inside of these territories were technically residing in a foreign land. Therefore, they were not British citizens. However, they were also not living within independent countries.

The British Empire had made thousands of people stateless and created the protected persons status so that they would have some kind of nationality.

British Protected Person status, as it exists currently, was formulated in 1981 under the British Nationality Act.


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