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Residents and those born in Tuvalu have several ways in which to claim British Nationality. These are:

  • A British or UK-born mother or father
  • Not having gained nationality of Tuvalu on Independence
  • A grandparent born in the UK
  • A parent or grandparent born outside of Tuvalu
  • A parent or grandparent holding a nationality other than Tuvalu

The Independence Day arrangements on 30.09.1978 gave rise to many residents gaining one of the various forms of British Nationality. Those born in Tuvalu would have held Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) status. This status would have been lost if the new Tuvalu constitution granted nationality. If not, then British Overseas Citizen (BOC) status would have been achieved and, in some cases, this can be upgraded to full British Nationality.

For these and other forms of British Nationality available to Tuvalu residents, those born there or nationals, click on British Citizenship.


From 1892 until 11.01.1916, Tuvalu was a British Protectorate (as the Ellice Islands) in which the Crown exercised extra-territorial jurisdiction.

Click here for more information on the status of a British Protected Person (based on birth in a British Protectorate).

Between 12.01.1916 and 31.12.1948, it was within the British Crown Dominions as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony.

From 01.01.1949 until 30.09.1975, it was within the UK and Colonies.

From 01.10.1975 until 30.09.1978, it fell within the UK and Colonies as the separate Colony of Tuvalu.

Click here for more information on the status of Citizen of the United Kingdom & Colonies (CUKC), a status achieved by birth in the Colony.

From 01.10.1978 until the present day, it was an independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.


Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country 


Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.

WhatPassport.com is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.