United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Protected Person (BPP) - By Descent

The Nationality Status termed as British Protected Person (BPP) is based on birth in a British Protectorate, British Protected State, Mandated Territory or UK Trust TerritoryUnless the nationality of the country from which the Protection stems is acquired by operation of law on Independence (or applied for voluntarily at a later stage), then it is possible that the status of British Protected Person was retained. It is also possible - in certain circumstances - to upgrade this status to full British Nationality.

The uniqueness of this solution is that the BPP status was gained from two different territories. It relies on:

  • a candidate born in a Territory different to their father's country of birth; AND
  • a candidate's father born in a British Protected State or Protectorate.

The full list of British Proctected States and Protectorates is as follows:

  • Aden Protectorates (now part of Yemen) - up until 29-11-1967
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia UK Cyprus Military Bases - up until 04-11-1914
  • Ashanti (now part of Ghana) - between 1896 and 1901
  • Bahrain - up until 15-08-1971
  • Barotseland (now part of Zambia) - between 1900 and 23-10-1964
  • Bechuanaland (now Botswana) - up until 30-09-1966
  • Brunei - up until 31-12-1983
  • Bunyoro (now part of Uganda) - between 1933 and 08-10-1962
  • Cyprus - up until 04-11-1914
  • Egypt - between 1914 and 31-12-1922
  • Gambia Protectorate (now part of Gambia) - up until 18-02-1965
  • India (the Royal States only) - up to 01-01-1949
  • Iraq - between 27-09-1924 and 02-10-1932
  • Israel - between 29-09-1923 and 15-05-1948
  • Jordan - between 29-09-1923 and 17-06-1946
  • Kamaran (now part of Yemen) - between 01-01-1954 and 29-11-1967
  • Kenya Protectorate (Jubaland, Kismayu and Port Durnford) - up until 30-04-1925
  • Kenya Protectorate (Lamu, Patta and Strip) - up until 11-12-1963
  • Kiribati (incl the Gilbert Islands) - up until 09-11-1915
  • Kuwait - up until 01-07-1961
  • Malay States (now part of Malaysia) - up until 30-08-1957
  • Maldives - up until 26-07-1965
  • Nigeria Protectorates (now part of Nigeria) - up until 30-09-1960
  • North Borneo and Labuan (now part of Malaysia) - up until 14-07-1946
  • Northern Cameroon (now part of Nigeria) - between 20-07-1922 and 31-05-1961
  • Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) - between 1900 and 23-10-1964
  • Northern Somaliland (now part of Somalia) - up until 26-06-1960
  • Northern Territories Protectorate (now part of Ghana) - up until 05-03-1957
  • Nyasaland (now Malawi) - up until 05-07-1964
  • Palestine - between 29-09-1923 and 15-05-1948
  • Qatar - between 29-04-1939 and 03-09-1971
  • Sarawak (now part of Malaysia) - up until 30-06-1946
  • Sierra Leone Protectorate (now part of Sierra Leone) - up until 26-04-1961
  • Solomon Islands - up until 06-07-1978
  • Southern Cameroon (now Cameroon) - between 20-07-1922 and 30-09-1961
  • Swaziland - up until 05-09-1968
  • Tanganyika (now Tanzania) - between 20-07-1922 and 08-12-1961
  • Togoland (now part of Ghana) - between 20-07-1922 and 05-03-1957
  • Tonga - between 1900 and 03-06-1970
  • Tuvalu - up until 11-01-1916
  • Uganda (incl Bunyoro) - up until 08-10-1962
  • United Arab Emirates - up until 02-12-1971
  • Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) - up until 09-12-1963
  • The Transvaal (now part of South Africa) - between 1881 and 31-08-1900

With the above in mind, it should be noted that it was possible to acquire and hold different forms of British Protection at the same time. As an example, a person could be a British Protected Person of Uganda by birth and a British Protected Person of Kenya by descent. Where one form of Protection has been lost by operation of independence arrangements, it is entirely possible that the other has survived and can be brought forward to the modern day.

The regulations for the acquisition and loss of British Protection were re-drafted and modified five times between 1965 and 1983 and different rules exist in different time spans in relation to the loss of this status. Often siblings will have different rights to British Protection simply by being born  at different times or acquiring other forms of citizenship at different times. Sometimes even the marital status of the subject has to be taken account of at different times. Specialist knowledge in this area is required to determine rights and a status trace is always necessary to form accurate opinions.


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.

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