A nationality listed below is potentially relevant to a UK nationality held today. In a passport look for the words next to the label 'National Status' or 'Nationality'. The issue or renewal date of the passport or other document determines which list below to use.

Until 1948:

  • British subject (passport national status entries vary considerably, e.g. 'British born subject', 'British subject by birth'),
  • British protected person by connection with a country listed here (passport national status entry mentions that country).

From 1949 to 1982:

  • citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (passport national status entry is 'British Subject: Citizen of - '),
  • British protected person by connection with a country listed here (passport national status entry mentions that country),
  • citizen of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (passport national status entry is 'British Subject: Citizen of ',
  • British subject - some types only (a passport national status entry 'British subject' alone does not identify the type).

From 1983:

  • British citizen,
  • British Dependent Territories citizen,
  • British overseas territories citizen,
  • British Overseas citizen,
  • British National (Overseas),
  • British subject,
  • British protected person.

If you suspect that you may already be a British citizen or British national you can read more about the possibilities at our UK Citizenship page.


The table below lists the automatic immigration rights that apply to each type.

Nationality Type Live in the UK
British citizen Yes
British overseas territories citizen Yes, few exceptions
British Overseas citizen No
British National (Overseas) No
British subject with right of abode Yes
British subject without right of abode No
British protected person No
Right of Abode only Yes

British citizens may live in Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland. 

British citizens who take up residence in the European Union by the end of 2020 and remain resident can enjoy residence rights similar to those that currently exist under EU law.

British citizens and other British nationals are eligible to hold British passports issued by the government of the United Kingdom.

For more information on British nationality, read British Citizenship services.

Find out if you can get British citizenship by completing the form below!


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I sought the services of Passportia to get my adopted son British citizenship . They were very professional, extremely knowledgeable and were always willing to help and advise where needed. I am grateful for all they did to achieve the successful outcome.

C.S. - Johannesburg, South Africa