British Overseas Citizen (BOC)

British Overseas Citizens (BOC)

The BOC status is a legacy status from British colonial days, though the status is still valid today and BOC passports can still be issued. The BOC status can be upgraded to full British Nationality status, but this relies on a case-by-case analysis and is considered a Non-Standard claim to British nationality.

Philip Gamble & Partners are a UK Immigration and British Nationality firm specialising in complex British Nationality applications, including those who hold the BOC status. 

How do I find out if I have a claim to British Nationality?

We suggest following our 4 STEP PROCESS, designed to simplify the complex laws of British nationality and to avoid unnecessary and expensive application fees, to find your answer:

Step 1: Determine whether you have a Standard Route (birth in the UK before 1983, or a parent born in the UK before 1983)
Step 2: If not, complete our free Nationality Assessment
Step 3: Order a free British Passport Review
Step 4: Conduct a Status Trace

Complete our nationality assessment

To find out whether you or your children might have a claim, take a couple of moments to complete our FREE online passport assessment.

British Nationality Assessment

A British Overseas Citizen (BOC) is based on birth in a British Territory where nationality of that territory has not been granted. In most cases, this is caused by the Independence Day arrangements as to how nationality was granted to the residents of the newly-Independent country.

The BOC status is one of the three forms of British protection offered to former British Subjects, the other two being British Protected Person (BPP) and British National Overseas (BNO). It is possible - in certain circumstances - to upgrade this status to full British Nationality.

For more information on the British Overseas (BOC) status, then watch this short video by Philip Gamble on the other forms of British Nationality available:

British Overseas Citizen (BOC)

Click here for more general rules on British Nationality.  

The solutions that have discovered under this category are: 



British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - General Provisions:  Information on rights of BOC status. General rule is applicant born in a British Territory before it's Independence and father or parents NOT born in that territory. 

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Kenya: Applicant born in Kenya Colony. Neither parent born in Kenya Colony or Protectorate OR father or Paternal grandfather born in area that remained a British Colony, Protectorate or Protected State after Kenyan Independence.

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Penang & Malacca: Applicant born in Penang & Malacca before 30.08.1957 OR father born in Penang & Malacca before 30.08.1957. 

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Protectorate: Applicant born before 01.01.1949 in territory that remained a British Protectorate on 01.01.1949. Father born in British Crown Dominions.

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Ceylon: Applicant born before Independence on 31.12.1948 and father not born in Ceylon.

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Burma Independence: Candidate born in Burma before Independence on 04.01.1948 and father or paternal grandfather born outside of Burma. 

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Burma Father: Candidate born in Burma before 01.01.1949 and father or paternal grandfather born outside of Burma.

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - UK Territories : Applicant born before 01.01.1949 in place that was a British Protectorate or British Protected State. Father born in British Crown Dominions.

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Independence of Colony: Candidate born in UK Colony and father or Paternal Grandfather born in UK Colony that remained independent after child's country of birth became independent. 



British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Automatic conversion to British Nationality:  Applicant born in a British Territory before it's Independence and holds BOC status. At least one grandparent born in UK (or Ireland before 31.03.1922).

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Upgrade (11(1)2.1.a.1971): Applicant born before 01.01.1983 and holds BOC status. At least one grandparent born in UK (or Ireland before 31.03.1922) .

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Upgrade (11(1)2.1.c.1971): Applicant born before 01.01.1983 and holds BOC status.  Applicant spent at least 5 years in UK before 01.01.1983 OR held Permanent Residency status in UK before 01.01.1983.

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Upgrade (11(1)2.2.1971): Woman holds BOC status and is/was married to man who had Right of Abode. Married before 01.01.1983.



British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - 51A 1948 PGGF: Applicant before 01.01.1983. Father born in British Protectorate. Father's Paternal Grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 31.03.1922). 

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Ceylon Upgrade : Applicant born before Independence on 31.12.1948 and father not born in Ceylon. A grandparent born in UK.

British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Protectorate by Descent: Applicant born before 01.01.1983. Father of applicant born before 01.01.1949 in territory that remained a British Protectorate on 01.01.1949. Paternal grandfather born in British Crown Dominions.