The British Overseas Territories (BOTs) or United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs) are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories. These territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of military or scientific personnel. They all share the British monarch (Elizabeth II) as head of state.
As of April 2018 the Minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, is the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN. The other three territories are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas.
British Overseas Territories
Location of the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories
|Largest settlements||George Town, Gibraltar, Road Town|
• Minister of State
• Minister of State
|1,727,570 km2 (667,020 sq mi)|
• 2018 estimate
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (AD)|
The fourteen British Overseas Territories are:
|Akrotiri and Dhekelia||Cyprus, Mediterranean Sea||255 km2 (98 sq mi)||7,700 (Cypriots; estimate)
8,000 non-permanent (UK military personnel and their families; estimate)
|Anguilla||Caribbean, North Atlantic Ocean||"Strength and Endurance"||91 km2 (35.1 sq mi)||13,500 (2006 estimate)||The Valley|
|Bermuda||North Atlantic Ocean between the Azores, the Caribbean, Cape Sable Island and Canada||"Quo fata ferunt" (Latin; "Whither the Fates carry [us]")||54 km2 (20.8 sq mi)||71,176 (2018 estimate)||Hamilton|
|British Antarctic Territory||Antarctica||"Research and discovery"||1,709,400 km2 (660,000 sq mi)||0
50 non-permanent in winter, over 400 in summer (research personnel)
|Rothera (main base)|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||Indian Ocean||"In tutela nostra Limuria" (Latin; "Limuria is in our charge")||60 km2 (23 sq mi)||0
3,000 non-permanent (UK and US military and staff personnel; estimate)
|Diego Garcia (base)|
|British Virgin Islands||Caribbean, North Atlantic Ocean||"Vigilate" (Latin; "Be watchful")||153 km2 (59 sq mi)||27,000 (2005 estimate)||Road Town|
|Cayman Islands||Caribbean||"He hath founded it upon the seas"||264 km2 (101.9 sq mi)||64,420 (2018 census)||George Town|
|Falkland Islands||South Atlantic Ocean||"Desire the right"||12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi)||2,955 (2006 census)
1,350 non-permanent (UK military personnel; 2012 estimate)
|Gibraltar||Iberian Peninsula, Continental Europe||"Nulli expugnabilis hosti" (Latin; "No enemy shall expel us")||6.5 km2 (2.5 sq mi)||28,800 (2005 estimate)
1,250 non-permanent (UK military personnel; 2012 estimate)
|Montserrat||Caribbean, North Atlantic Ocean||"A people of excellence, moulded by nature, nurtured by God"||101 km2 (39 sq mi)||4,655 (2006 estimate)||Plymouth (abandoned due to volcano—de facto capital is Brades)|
|Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands||Pacific Ocean||47 km2 (18 sq mi)||49 (2014 estimate)
6 non-permanent (2014 estimate)
|Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha,
|South Atlantic Ocean||420 km2 (162 sq mi)||5,530 (total; estimate)||Jamestown|
|Saint Helena||"Loyal and Unshakeable" (Saint Helena)||4,255 (Saint Helena; 2008 census)|
|Ascension Island||880 (Ascension; estimate)
1,000 non-permanent (Ascension; UK military personnel; estimate)
|Tristan da Cunha||"Our faith is our strength" (Tristan da Cunha)||300 (Tristan da Cunha; estimate)
9 non-permanent (Tristan da Cunha; weather personnel)
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||South Atlantic Ocean||"Leo terram propriam protegat" (Latin; "Let the lion protect his own land")||4,066 km2 (1,570 sq mi)||0
99 non-permanent (officials and research personnel)
|King Edward Point|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Lucayan Archipelago, North Atlantic Ocean||430 km2 (166 sq mi)||53,701 (2018 estimate)||Cockburn Town|
|Overall||1,727,570 km2||c. 250,000|
The term "British Overseas Territory" was introduced by the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, replacing the term British Dependent Territory, introduced by the British Nationality Act 1981. Prior to 1 January 1983, the territories were officially referred to as British Crown Colonies.
Although the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man are also under the sovereignty of the British monarch, they are in a different constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom. The British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are themselves distinct from the Commonwealth realms, a group of 16 independent countries (including the United Kingdom) each having Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch, and from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary association of 53 countries mostly with historic links to the British Empire (which also includes all Commonwealth realms).
With the exceptions of the British Antarctic Territory and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (which host only officials and research station staff) and the British Indian Ocean Territory (used as a military base), the Territories retain permanent civilian populations. Permanent residency for the approximately 7,000 civilians living in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is limited to citizens of the Republic of Cyprus.
Collectively, the Territories encompass a population of about 250,000 people and a land area of about 1,727,570 square kilometres (667,020 sq mi). The vast majority of this land area, 1,700,000 square kilometres (660,000 sq mi), constitutes the almost uninhabited British Antarctic Territory, while the largest territory by population, Bermuda, accounts for almost a quarter of the total BOT population. At the other end of the scale, three territories have no civilian population; the Antarctic territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory (from which the Chagos Islanders were controversially removed) and South Georgia. Pitcairn Islands, settled by the survivors of the Mutiny on the Bounty, is the smallest settled territory with 49 inhabitants, while the smallest by land area is Gibraltar on the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula. The United Kingdom participates in the Antarctic Treaty System and, as part of a mutual agreement, the British Antarctic Territory is recognised by four of the six other sovereign nations making claims to Antarctic territory.
Early colonies, in the sense of English subjects residing in lands hitherto outside the control of the English government, were generally known as "Plantations".
The first, unofficial, colony was Newfoundland, where English fishermen routinely set up seasonal camps in the 16th century. It is now a province of Canada known as Newfoundland and Labrador. It retains strong cultural ties with Britain.
English colonisation of North America began officially in 1607 with the settlement of Jamestown, the first successful permanent colony in Virginia (a term that was then applied generally to North America). Its offshoot, Bermuda, was settled inadvertently after the wrecking of the Virginia company's flagship there in 1609, with the Virginia Company's charter extended to officially include the archipelago in 1612. St. George's town, founded in Bermuda in that year, remains the oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the New World (with some historians stating that – its formation predating the 1619 conversion of "James Fort" into "Jamestown" – St. George's was actually the first successful town the English established in the New World). Bermuda and Bermudians have played important, sometimes pivotal, but generally underestimated or unacknowledged roles in the shaping of the English and British trans-Atlantic Empires. These include maritime commerce, settlement of the continent and of the West Indies, and the projection of naval power via the colony's privateers, among other areas.
The growth of the British Empire in the 19th century, to its territorial peak in the 1920s, saw Britain acquire nearly one quarter of the world's land mass, including territories with large indigenous populations in Asia and Africa. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century, the larger settler colonies – in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – first became self-governing colonies and then achieved independence in all matters except foreign policy, defence and trade. Separate self-governing colonies federated to become Canada (in 1867), Australia (in 1901), South Africa (in 1910), and Rhodesia (in 1965). These and other large self-governing colonies had become known as Dominions by the 1920s. The Dominions achieved almost full independence with the Statute of Westminster (1931).
Through a process of decolonisation following the Second World War, most of the British colonies in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean gained independence. Some colonies became Commonwealth realms, retaining the British monarch as their own head of state. Most former colonies and protectorates became member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, a non-political, voluntary association of equal members, comprising a population of around 2.2 billion people.
After the independence of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in Africa in 1980 and British Honduras (now Belize) in Central America in 1981, the last major colony that remained was Hong Kong, with a population of over 5 million. With 1997 approaching, the United Kingdom and China negotiated the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which led to the whole of Hong Kong becoming a "special administrative region" of China in 1997, subject to various conditions intended to guarantee the preservation of Hong Kong's capitalist economy and its way of life under British rule for at least 50 years after the handover. George Town in the Cayman Islands has consequently become the largest city in the Overseas Territories.
In 2002, the British Parliament passed the British Overseas Territories Act 2002. This reclassified the UK's dependent territories as overseas territories and, with the exception of those people solely connected with the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus, restored full British citizenship to their inhabitants.
The head of state in the overseas territories is the British monarch, Elizabeth II. The Queen's role in the territories is in her role as Queen of the United Kingdom, and not in right of each territory. The Queen appoints a representative in each territory to exercise her executive power. In territories with a permanent population, a Governor is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the British Government. Currently (2019) all but two Governors are either career diplomats or have worked in other Civil Service departments. The remaining two Governors are former members of the British armed forces. In territories without a permanent population, a Commissioner is usually appointed to represent the Queen. Exceptionally, in the oversea territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, an Administrator is appointed to be the Governor's representative in each of the two distant parts of the territory, namely Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.
The role of the Governor is to act as the de facto head of state, and they are usually responsible for appointing the head of government, and senior political positions in the territory. The Governor is also responsible for liaising with the UK Government, and carrying out any ceremonial duties. A Commissioner has the same powers as a Governor, but also acts as the head of government.
All the overseas territories have their own system of government, and localised laws. The structure of the government appears to be closely correlated to the size and political development of the territory.
|There is no native or permanent population; therefore there is no elected government. The Commissioner, supported by an Administrator, run the affairs of the territory.|
|There is no elected government, as there is no native settled population. The Chagos Islanders – who were forcibly evicted from the territory in 1971 – won a High Court Judgement allowing them to return, but this was then overridden by an Order in Council preventing them from returning. The final appeal to the House of Lords (regarding the lawfulness of the Order in Council) was decided in the government's favour, exhausting the islanders' legal options in the United Kingdom at present.|
|There is no elected government. The Commander British Forces Cyprus acts as the territory's Administrator, with a Chief Officer responsible for day-to-day running of the civil government. As far as possible, there is convergence of laws with those of the Republic of Cyprus.|
|There are an elected Mayor and Island Council, who have the power to propose and administer local legislation. However, their decisions are subject to approval by the Governor, who retains near-unlimited powers of plenary legislation on behalf of the United Kingdom Government.|
|The Government consists of an elected Legislative Assembly, with the Chief Executive and the Director of Corporate Resources as ex officio members.|
|The Government consists of an elected Legislative Council. The Governor is the head of government and leads the Executive Council, consisting of appointed members made up from the Legislative Council and two ex-officio members. Governance on Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha is led by Administrators who are advised by elected Island Councils.|
|These territories have a House of Assembly, Legislative Assembly (Cayman Islands and Montserrat), with political parties. The Executive Council is usually called a cabinet and is led by a Premier or a Chief Minister (in Anguilla), who is the leader of the majority party in parliament. The Governor exercises less power over local affairs and deals mostly with foreign affairs and economic issues, while the elected government controls most "domestic" concerns.|
|Under the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 which was approved in Gibraltar by a referendum, Gibraltar now has a Parliament. The Government of Gibraltar, headed by the Chief Minister, is elected. Defence, external affairs and internal security vest in the Governor.|
|Bermuda, settled in 1609, and self-governed since 1620, is the oldest and most populous of the Overseas Territories. The bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate and a House of Assembly, and most executive powers have been devolved to the head of government, known as the Premier.|
|The Turks and Caicos Islands adopted a new constitution effective 9 August 2006; their head of government now also has the title Premier, their legislature is called the House of Assembly, and their autonomy has been greatly increased.|
British Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council
|All members elected either as MPs in the UK cabinet or as heads of Government or Ministers in Overseas Territories.|
Each overseas territory has its own legal system independent of the United Kingdom. The legal system is generally based on English common law, with some distinctions for local circumstances. Each territory has its own attorney general, and court system. For the smaller territories, the UK may appoint a UK-based lawyer or judge to work on legal cases. This is particularly important for cases involving serious crimes and where it is impossible to find a jury who will not know the defendant in a small population island.
The Pitcairn sexual assault trial of 2004 is an example of how the UK may choose to provide the legal framework for particular cases where the territory cannot do so alone.
A joint ministerial council of UK ministers, and the leaders of the Overseas Territories has been held annually since 2012 to provide representation between UK Government departments and Overseas Territory Governments.
Historically the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Colonial Office were responsible for overseeing all British Colonies, but today the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has the responsibility of looking after the interests of all overseas territories except the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence. Within the FCO, the general responsibility for the territories is handled by the Overseas Territories Directorate.
In 2012, the FCO published The Overseas Territories: security, success and sustainability which set out Britain's policy for the Overseas Territories, covering six main areas:
Britain and the overseas territories do not have diplomatic representations, although the governments of the overseas territories with indigenous populations all retain a representative office in London. The United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) also represents the interests of the territories in London. The governments in both London and territories occasionally meet to mitigate or resolve disagreements over the process of governance in the territories and levels of autonomy.
Britain provides financial assistance to the overseas territories via the Department for International Development. Currently only Montserrat and Saint Helena receive budgetary aid (i.e. financial contribution to recurrent funding). Several specialist funds are made available by the UK, including:
The territories have no official representation in the UK Parliament, but have informal representation through the All-Party Parliamentary Group, and can petition the UK Government through the Directgov e-Petitions website. Only Gibraltar has representation in the European Parliament and it shares its Member with the region of South West England.
Two national parties, UKIP and the Liberal Democrats, have endorsed calls for direct representation of overseas territories in the UK Parliament, as well as backbench members of the Conservative Party and Labour Party.
Foreign affairs of the overseas territories are handled by the FCO in London. Some territories maintain diplomatic officers in nearby countries for trade and immigration purposes. Several of the territories in the Americas maintain membership within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, the Caribbean Community, the Caribbean Development Bank, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, and the Association of Caribbean States. The territories are members of the Commonwealth of Nations through the United Kingdom. The inhabited territories compete in their own right at the Commonwealth Games, and three of the territories (Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands) sent teams to the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Gibraltar is the only overseas territory that is part of the European Union (EU), although it is not part of the European Customs Union, the European Tax Policy, the European Statistics Zone or the Common Agriculture Policy. Gibraltar is not a member of the European Union in its own right. The Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus are not part of the European Union, but they are the only British overseas territory to use the euro as official currency. None of the other Overseas Territories are members of the EU, the main body of EU law does not apply and, although certain slices of EU law are applied to those territories as part of the EU's Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT Association), they are not commonly enforceable in local courts. The OCT Association also provides overseas territories with structural funding for regeneration projects.
Since the return of full British citizenship to most 'belongers' of overseas territories (mainly since the British Overseas Territories Act 2002), the citizens of those territories hold concurrent European Union citizenship, giving them rights of free movement across all EU member states.
Five nations dispute the UK's sovereignty in the following overseas territories:
None of the overseas territories has its own nationality status, and most residents hold two forms of British nationality: British Overseas Territories citizenship (BOTC) and British citizenship. Only the latter grants the right of abode in a specific country or territory, namely, the United Kingdom proper which includes its three Crown Dependencies. Individual overseas territories have legislative independence over immigration, and consequently, BOTC status does not automatically grant the right of abode in any of the territories, as it depends on the territory's immigration laws. A territory may issue belonger status to allow a person to reside in the territory that they have close links with. The governors of the territories may also allow naturalization of non-BOTCs as BOTCs.
From 1949 to 1983, the nationality status of Citizenship of UK and Colonies (CUKC) was shared by residents of the UK proper and residents of overseas territories, although most residents of overseas territories lost their automatic right to live in the UK after the ratification of Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 that year unless they were born in the UK proper or had a parent or a grandparent born in the UK. In 1983, CUKC status of residents of overseas territories without the right of abode in the UK was replaced by British Dependent Territories citizenship (BDTC) in the newly-minted British Nationality Act 1981, a status that does not come with it the right of abode in the UK or any overseas territory. For these residents, registration as full British citizens then required physical residence in the UK proper. There were only two exceptions: Falkland Islanders, who were automatically granted British citizenship and was treated as a part of the UK proper through the enactment of British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 due to the Falklands War with Argentina, and Gibraltarians who were given the special entitlement to be registered as British citizens upon request without further conditions because of its individual membership in the European Economic Area and the European Community.
5 years after the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the British government amended the 1981 Act to give British citizenship without restrictions to all BDTCs (the status was also renamed BOTC at the same time) except for those solely connected with Akrotiri and Dhekelia (whose residents already held Cypriot citizenship).. This restored the right of abode in the UK to residents of overseas territories after a 34-year hiatus from 1968 to 2002.
Defence of the Overseas Territories is the responsibility of the UK. Many of the overseas territories are used as military bases by the UK and its allies.
Most of the languages other than English spoken in the territories contain a large degree of English, either as a root language, or in codeswitching, e.g. Llanito. They include:
Forms of English:
The many British overseas territories use a varied assortment of currencies, including the euro, pound, US dollar, NZ dollar, or their own currencies, which may be pegged to one of these.
|Location||Native currency||Issuing authority|
Falkland Islands pound (parity with pound sterling)
Gibraltar pound (parity with pound sterling)
Saint Helenian pound (parity with pound sterling)
Eastern Caribbean dollar (pegged to US dollar at 2.7ECD=1USD)
Bermudian dollar (parity with US dollar)
Cayman Islands dollar (pegged to US dollar at 1KYD=1.2USD)
US Federal Reserve
1 Part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
Each overseas territory has been granted its own flag and coat of arms by the British monarch. Traditionally, the flags follow the Blue Ensign design, with the Union Flag in the canton, and the territory's coat of arms in the fly. Exceptions to this are Bermuda which uses a Red Ensign; British Antarctic Territory which uses a White Ensign; British Indian Ocean Territory which uses a Blue Ensign with wavy lines to symbolise the sea; and Gibraltar which uses a banner of its coat of arms (the flag of the city of Gibraltar).
Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands are the only British Overseas Territories with recognised National Olympic Committees (NOCs); the British Olympic Association is recognised as the appropriate NOC for athletes from the other territories, and thus athletes who hold a British passport are eligible to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games.
Shara Proctor from Anguilla, Delano Williams from the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jenaya Wade-Fray from Bermuda and Georgina Cassar from Gibraltar strived to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. Proctor, Wade-Fray and Cassar qualified for Team GB, with Williams missing the cut, however wishing to represent the UK in 2016.
The Gibraltar national football team was accepted into UEFA in 2013 in time for the 2016 European Championships. It has been accepted by FIFA and went into the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, where they achieved 0 points.
The British Overseas Territories have more biodiversity than the entire UK mainland. There are at least 180 endemic plant species in the overseas territories as opposed to only 12 on the UK mainland. Responsibility for protection of biodiversity and meeting obligations under international environmental conventions is shared between the UK Government and the local governments of the territories.
Two areas, Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Islands as well as the Gough and Inaccessible Islands of Tristan Da Cunha are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and two other territories, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Saint Helena are on the United Kingdom's tentative list for future UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Gibraltar's Gorham's Cave Complex is also found on the UK's tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
The UK created the largest continuous marine protected areas in the world, the Chagos Marine Protected Area, and announced in 2015 funding to establish a new, larger, reserve around the Pitcairn Islands.
In January 2016, the UK government announced the intention to create a marine protected area around Ascension Island. The protected area would be 234,291 square kilometers, half of which would be closed to fishing.
There are 14 Overseas Territories which retain a constitutional link with the UK. .... Most of the Territories are largely self-governing, each with its own constitution and its own government, which enacts local laws. Although the relationship is rooted in four centuries of shared history, the UK government's relationship with its Territories today is a modern one, based on mutual benefits and responsibilities. The foundations of this relationship are partnership, shared values and the right of the people of each territory to choose to freely choose whether to remain a British Overseas Territory or to seek an alternative future.
The United Kingdom also manages a number of territories which, while mostly having their own forms of government, have the Queen as their head of state, and rely on the UK for defence and security, foreign affairs and representation at the international level. They do not form part of the UK, but have an ambiguous constitutional relationship with the UK.
Bayside Comprehensive School, or simply Bayside, is a boys' comprehensive school in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It is one of two secondary schools in Gibraltar and covers year 8 to year 13 (age 12 to 18).British Overseas Territories Act 2002
The British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (c.8) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which superseded parts of the British Nationality Act 1981. It makes legal provision for the renaming of the British Dependent Territories as British Overseas Territories, and the renaming of associated citizenship.
As a result of the act, all who were British Overseas Territories citizens (apart from those solely connected with the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas) immediately prior to 21 May 2002 automatically became full British citizens on that date (previously full British citizenship was either automatically accorded or granted without conditions on request only to people from Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands).
The law was enacted five years after the end of British sovereignty over Hong Kong, whose population had been vastly greater than all other British Dependent Territories put together.
The qualifying territories for the purposes of the 2002 Act include the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and the British Antarctic Territory. At the time, there was discussion as to whether either of these territories should be treated as qualifying territories for the purposes of the Act, when neither have a permanent population and in the case of the British Antarctic Territory there are competing territorial claims that are held in abeyance.
Although it is not normally possible under either territory's immigration laws to acquire British Overseas Territories citizenship (BOTC) by naturalisation in that territory, the former inhabitants of the BIOT still hold BOTC by virtue of their birth, or a parent's birth, in that territory.
Although it was possible for BOTCs to voluntarily acquire British citizenship under the previous provisions of British Nationality Act 1981 through section 4 registration by meeting UK residency and good character requirements prior to 2002, the enactment of the 2002 act means that every BOTC who was not already a British citizen on enactment day automatically acquired that status without satisfying residency and character requirements. This, effectively, means that BOTCs are in a unique position of simultaneously holding two forms of British nationality. The only exception to this are for those connected solely with the sovereign military bases in Cyprus, and those who acquired BOTC status voluntarily (i.e., through naturalization) after 21 May 2002.
This has allowed residents of British Overseas Territories to apply for and travel on a separate British passport describing them as a British citizen, to reside in the UK permanently without being subject to UK immigration control, to join the British armed forces and police forces, and to exercise rights under the Human Rights Act. Although not explicitly stated, the act also granted them EU citizenship through UK's membership in the European Union, which (until UK's withdrawal from the EU is finalized) means that BOTCs with British citizen passports are afforded all rights accorded to EU citizens in any EU country.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands was included in the scope of the Act mainly due to its former association with the Falkland Islands. The 2002 Act is similar in scope to the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983 and repealed some of that Act (without affecting the validity of any acquisition of British citizenship under that legislation).
Those naturalizing as British overseas territories citizens after 21 May 2002 may submit an application to be registered as British citizens under section 4A of the 1981 Act, subject only to good character requirements. However, the application must be made voluntarily. Hence, it is still theoretically possible for a person to hold only BOTC status but not British citizenship after 2002, if they had never filed such an application or their application is refused by the UK government.
While BOTCs of all the Overseas Territories (except the Sovereign Base Areas) are now either British citizens or eligible to acquire British citizenship (and therefore gain right of abode in the UK by virtue of being a British citizen), British citizens visiting Overseas Territories are still subject to local immigration controls and are, in most cases, given limited leave to remain by the territory's immigration officers.British Overseas Territories citizen
British Overseas Territories citizenship (BOTC), formerly called British Dependent Territories citizenship (BDTC), is a class of British nationality granted to people connected with one or more of the British Overseas Territories. Individuals with this nationality are British nationals and Commonwealth citizens, but not British citizens. The status itself does not grant right of abode in the United Kingdom or any of the territories, though all BOTCs would have had belonger status in a territory on acquisition. Nationals of this class are subject to immigration controls when entering the United Kingdom and do not have the automatic right to live or work there.
This nationality was created to differentiate between British nationals with strong ties to the United Kingdom and those connected only with an overseas territory. British Overseas Territories citizens are eligible for British passports and enjoy consular protection when travelling abroad. Almost all BOTCs are also British citizens, after nationality law reform in 2002.British passport (Anguilla)
The Anguillian passport is a British passport issued to British Overseas Territories citizens with a connection to Anguilla. From 2015, all Anguillian passports are issued by Her Majesty's Passport Office in the United Kingdom.British passport (Bermuda)
Bermudian passports are issued to British Overseas Territories Citizens connected to Bermuda.British passport (British Virgin Islands)
The British Virgin Islands passport is a British passport issued to British Overseas Territories citizens with a connection to the British Virgin Islands.British passport (Gibraltar)
The Gibraltar passport is a British passport issued to British Citizens and British Overseas Territory Citizens who live in, or have a connection (for example by birth) with Gibraltar.
As a result of the British Nationality Act 1981, Gibraltarians were made British Overseas Territories citizens by default, but could apply for registration as a British Citizen ("an entitlement that cannot be refused") under section 5 of the Act. They are considered British citizens for EU purposes making them full citizens of the European Union with all consequential rights and entitlements. Under The British Overseas Territories Act (2002) all British Overseas Territories Citizens have the right to register as British Citizens.Gibraltarn passports are issued by the Passport Office of the Gibraltar Civil Status and Registration Office. Since 2005, passports issued in Gibraltar have been biometric.
Gibraltarians travelling within the European Union, EEA and Switzerland are entitled to use a Gibraltar identity card instead of a Gibraltar passport as a travel document.British passport (Saint Helena)
Saint Helena passports are issued to St Helenians, a unique status recognised by the Government of St Helena, and gained through birth, descent, or application. Those holding this status are British Overseas Territories Citizens connected to Saint Helena, formerly known as British Dependent Territories Citizens.British passport (Turks and Caicos Islands)
The Turks and Caicos Islands passport is a British passport issued to British Overseas Territories citizens with a connection to the Turks and Caicos Islands.Constitution of Gibraltar
Gibraltar's first Constitution was passed in 1950. A complete list of the different constitutions follows.
Gibraltar Constitution Order 1950
Gibraltar Constitution Order 1964
Gibraltar Constitution Order 1969
Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006Gibraltar Defence Police
The Gibraltar Defence Police (GDP) is a civil police force which guards and enforces law on Ministry of Defence installations in Gibraltar. Prior to 17 December 2009 it was known as the Gibraltar Services Police (GSP). It has 127 sworn officers and 16 civilian personnel.Island Council (Pitcairn)
The Island Council is the legislature of the Pitcairn Islands.List of airlines of Bermuda
This is a list of airlines currently operating in Bermuda.List of airlines of Montserrat
This is a list of airlines currently operating in Montserrat.List of airlines of the Cayman Islands
This is a list of airlines currently operating in The Cayman Islands.Recognition of same-sex unions in the British Overseas Territories
Among the fourteen British Overseas Territories, nine – Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Bermuda, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, the Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands recognise and perform same-sex marriages. In the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, only British military and civilian personnel can enter into same-sex marriages and civil partnerships.
Five of the Caribbean territories have no general recognition of same-sex unions. Three of them specify the right of opposite-sex couples to marry in their constitutions.
The UK Government retains the right to impose same-sex marriage on territories that do not recognise the unions, as it did through an Order in Council to decriminalise homosexuality in recalcitrant territories in 2001. In February 2019, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee recommended that the UK Government impose a deadline on territories to legalise same-sex marriage and, if that deadline is not met, intervene through legislation or an Order in Council.Visa policies of British Overseas Territories
The British Overseas Territories maintain their own rules regarding immigration requirements different from the visa policy of the United Kingdom, but remain under its sovereignty. As a general rule, British citizen passport holders do not generally have automatic right of abode in these territories.Visa requirements for British Overseas Territories citizens
A British Overseas Territories citizen holds British nationality by virtue of a connection with a British Overseas Territory.
British Overseas Territories citizens (BOTCs) enjoy visa-free entry to a number of countries and territories. However, in some cases, foreign authorities only grant them a visa-free entry if they present a passport with an endorsement stating their right of abode in the United Kingdom.
Visa requirements for other classes of British nationals such as British citizens, British Nationals (Overseas), British Overseas citizens, British Protected Persons or British Subjects are different.Westside School, Gibraltar
Westside School or simply Westside is a girls' comprehensive school in the British territory of Gibraltar.
The school opened in 1982, and was built in order to make available a better education to the students of the former Girls' Comprehensive School which had been then spread over three different sites. It was originally an amalgamation of four girls' schools: Loreto High School, St. Joseph's Secondary School, St. Margaret's School, and St. David's Commercial School.
Articles relating to British overseas territories