You could be eligible for British citizenship if you were:
- Born in Brunei after 31.12.1948 and before independence on 31.12.1974, and you have a grandparent born in the UK.
- Born between 31.12.1948 and 31.12.1982, a parent was born in Bahrain before 31.12.1974 and that parent had a parent born in the UK.
- Born after 01.01.1983, a parent was born in Bahrain before 1949 and that parent had a parent born in the UK.
There are hundreds of other ways to qualify. As a general rule, if you were born in a country that is different to either parent or any of your grandparents, or you have a connection back to the UK, Ireland or a former British Territory, then you might have a claim.
How can I find out if I can claim British nationality?
We suggest following our 4 STEP PROCESS, designed to simplify the complex laws of British nationality and to avoid uneccessary and expensive application fees, to find your answer:
Step 1: Dertermine 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
The Independence Day arrangements on 01.01.1984 gave rise to many residents gaining one of the various forms of British Nationality. Those born in Brunei would have held British Protected Person (BPP) status. This status would have been lost if the new Brunei constitution granted nationality. If not, then BPP status would have been maintained and, in some cases, this can be upgraded to full British Nationality. In some cases, where Bahrain nationality was NOT granted (i.e. because of where your parents were born), then British Overseas Citizen (BOC) status would have been granted.
For these and other forms of British Nationality available to Brunei residents, those born there or nationals, click on British Citizenship.
STATUS OF BRUNEI
Between 1888 and 31.12.1974, Brunei was a British Protected State.
From 01.01.1975 until 31.12.1983, it was a foreign country. However, for the purposes of statutory British Protected Persons, it was considered a British Protected State.
Click here for more information on the status of a British Protected Person (based on birth in a British Protected State).
From 01.01.1984 until the present day, Brunei is an independent Commonwealth country.
For more information on how British Nationality could be gained through your birth (or a parent's birth) in a British Protected State coupled with a UK-born grandparent, watch this short video by Philip Gamble:
There is a particularly complex interpretation of British Nationality Law that results in persons born before 01.01.1983 with a father born in Brunei before 01.01.1962 to be able claim British Protection (and the British Protected Person status or BPP). This occurs if the father was not from one of the local ethnic regions of Belait, Bisayah, Brunei, Dusun, Kedayan, Murut or Tutong. This applies to many ethnic Chinese living in (or born in) Brunei, though it applies to all other nationalities too. For more information, see British Protected Person (BPP) - Brunei.