British Nationality: Ilois

Home Office written question – answered on 1st June 2022.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason it is her policy that the new route for Chagossians to acquire British Nationality will be time-limited to five years from the commencement date of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.

Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending the new route to British Citizenship for Chagossians to those who are born outside of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

All direct descendants of people who were citizens of the UK and Colonies by virtue of their birth in the British Indian Ocean Territory are already eligible to apply under the measure, and regardless of where those descendants were born.

Our legislative provision is a generous one. We recognise the special circumstances of this group, so will create a registration route which breaks the traditional nationality model whereby citizenship is normally only passed on for one generation overseas. It is therefore not an open-ended offer, but those interested will have plenty of time to apply, and children will have until they are 23 years old to do so. The route is free, and no-one who is eligible and wants to apply should miss out.

We will publish further details of the support we will offer to those applying as soon as it is available.

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