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

The status of British protected person (BPP) is a status held by certain persons under the British Nationality Act 1981. It is not traditionally considered a form of British nationality—as British protected persons are not Commonwealth citizens in British nationality law, they do not have full civil rights in the United Kingdom. However, BPPs, like Commonwealth citizens and Irish citizens, are not considered aliens in the United Kingdom, and it has been submitted that as they are not stateless, they must have some kind of nationality, and that nationality must by necessity be a form of British nationality. Their position is therefore sui generis.

NOTE 1:  Tanzanians with an Indian parent or grandparent have a real possibility of being granted one of the five forms of British Nationality.

NOTE 2:  Because of how the Constitution of Tanzania determined how Citizenship was granted, Tanzanians with a parent or grandparent born OUTSIDE of Tanzania have a real possibility of being granted one of the five forms of British Nationality.

STATUS OF TANZANIA (formerly Tanganyika and including Zanzibar)

From 20.07.1922 until 12.12.1946, Tanganyika was a British Mandated Territory in which the Crown exercised extra-territorial jurisdiction. Between 13.12.1946 and 08.12.1961, it was a British Trust Territory. From 09.12.1961, it was an independent Commonwealth country (known as Tanganyika, then Tanganyika & Zanzibar and finally Tanzania).

Zanzibar was a British Protectorate between 1890 and 09.12.1963. From 10.12.1963, it joined with Tanganyika (see above).


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.

Birth in the Tanganyika Protectorate

If a person was born in the Tanganyika Protectorate BEFORE Independence, then they automatically became a British Protected Person (a BPP). On Independence Day, the Tanzanian Constitution dictated who became citizens and who did not. If neither parent was born in an area that made up modern-day Tanzania, then that person did NOT get Citizenship on Independence.

Likewise, if that person's father 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 Tanzanian Citizen.

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

In these circumstances, this person would become a British Protected Person (BPP). It is possible under some circumstances to upgrade a BPP into full British Citizenship. 

Birth in modern-day Tanzania

If a person was born in Tanzania AFTER Independence, then they would assume Citizenship as long as the rules applicable set out in the Constitution apply. However, it is possible to become a BPP By Descent if born BEFORE 29 October 1965 and if their father was born in the Tanganyika Protectorate and would have become a BPP (as above).

Birth outside of modern-day Tanzania

If a person was born outside of Tanzania AFTER Independence, then they would assume BPP by Descent  status if born BEFORE 16.08.1978 and if their father was born in the Tanganyika Protectorate and would have become a BPP (as above).


WhatPassport.com offers a FREE online UK Nationality assessment.

Simply complete our online search (it takes no more than a couple of minutes), and your details will be instantly filtered through 1.6million different rules that we have set that can determine British Nationality. 

NOTE: For UK Nationality purposes, it is critical to know the places and dates of birth of BOTH your parents and ALL four grandparents (irrespective of whether you think this data is relevant or not). If any parent or grandparent was born in a country DIFFERENT to your country of birth, then you have a greater chance of automatically qualifying for a form of British Nationality. If you don't know the exact birth date of one of your parents or grandparents, then put in the nearest year that is your BEST ESTIMATE (the day and month is largely irrelevant). 

Your results page will be immediately available, allowing you to see what forms of British Nationality you are eligible for.

Click here for more information on a British Protected Person, based on:


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.

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