British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty

Home Office written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether British Overseas Territories citizenship will be granted to individuals descended from Chagossians born in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

People born in the British Indian Ocean Territory acquired British overseas territories citizenship by birth. Their children (the second generation, who were born elsewhere) will therefore have become citizens by descent.

Under British Nationality law citizenship is normally only passed on to one generation born abroad. This means that grandchildren of resettled Chagossians (the third generation) do not have an automatic claim to British overseas territories citizenship.

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