British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Kenya


From 23.07.1920 until 31.12.1948, the Kenya Colony fell within the Crown’s Dominions. From 01.01.1949 until 11.12.1963, the colony formed part of the UK and Colonies. As a general rule, any person born in the Kenya Colony between 01.01.1949 and 11.12.1963 was a Citizen of the UK & Colonies.

Click here for more information on the Status of Kenya.


As a general rule, British Nationality was achieved by Birth, Descent, Registration or Naturalisation. To determine this more specifically, one must look at the date and place of your own birth, as well as the nationalities (and places of birth) of your parents and grandparents. It could later be lost by either Independence arrangements, deprivation or renunciation.

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)

Birth in the Kenya Colony

If a person was born in the Kenya Colony BEFORE Independence, then they automatically became a Citizen of the UK & Colonies (a CUKC). On Independence Day, the Kenyan Constitution dictated who became Kenyan citizens and who did not. If neither parent was born in an area that made up modern-day Kenya, then that person did NOT get Kenyan Citizenship on Independence.

Likewise, if that person's father OR Paternal Grandfather was born anywhere which remained a UK Colony, Protectorate or Protected State AFTER Independence (with the exception of Northern Rhodesia), then that person would also NOT become a Kenyan Citizen.

Finally, if that person's father or Paternal Grandfather was naturalised or Registered in a place that remained part of the UK & Colonies on Independence, then that person would also NOT get Kenyan Citizenship.

In most cases, those born in the Kenya Colony with a parent or grandparent from India or Pakistan could claim the BOC status.

In these circumstances, this person would become a British Overseas Citizen (BOC). It is possible under some circumstances to upgrade a BOC into full British Citizenship.

Click here for more information on the British Overseas (BOC) status.

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

Learn more about these routes to British Nationality: 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.