United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Kenya PGF

British Overseas Citizenship (commonly referred to as a BOC) is a residual status derived from a connection with a former British Territory (most often a former British colony). It can arrise  in a rare set of circumstances where the applicant does not become a Kenyan citizen automatically upon independence on 13 December 1963. This can arise where

 - the applicant was born in the Kenya Colony before its independence on 12 December 1963;

 - the paternal grandfather was born in another former British colony that only became independent AFTER Kenya's independence on 12 December 1963. This is an extensive list of British colonies, but former territories from the region include the Aden Colony, Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos).

The Kenyan nationality laws complicated matters as dual nationality was prohibited. In many instances, a resident in Kenya was forced to renounce their British status in favour of Kenyan citizenship to comply with the law in order to remain in Kenya legally. There are circumstances where it is possible to resume British nationality, but this will require specialist advice.

Also, it is possible, in some circumstances, to UPGRADE the BOC status to full British Citizenship, even if another nationality is held, but this would again require specialist advice.


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.