Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Immigration Corner | What is the eligibility to receive British Protected Person status?

Published:Tuesday | November 21, 2023 | 12:05 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I would like to know under what circumstances someone can become a British Protected Person, as I think my child may be eligible for this status.


Dear KS,

Persons would have become a British Protected Person on January 1, 1983, if they already held the status of being a British Protected Person.

They would also be eligible to be a British Protected Person if they would otherwise have been born stateless, that is, without a country, in the United Kingdom or an overseas territory. However, at birth, one of their parents would have to have been a British ProtectedPerson.

Please be aware that persons are also eligible for British Protected Person status if they were citizens or nationals of Brunei on January 1, 1983.

Please be aware that in most cases, persons would have lost their British Protected Person status if they gained any other nationality or citizenship; or the territory that they were connected with became independent and that he/she became a citizen of that country.


With respect to rights as a British Protected Person, persons can hold a British passport. They are also able to receive consular assistance and protection from United Kingdom diplomatic posts.

However, those persons are subject to immigration controls and do not have the automatic right to live or work in the United Kingdom. In addition, they would not be considered a United Kingdom national by the European Union.


Please note that persons may be able to register as a British Protected Person only if all the following circumstances apply:

• They are stateless, and always have been;

• They were born in the United Kingdom or an overseas territory;

• Their father or mother was a British Protected Person when they were born.

It is advisable that persons contact UK Visas and Immigration if they believe that they might qualify as a British Protected Person before applying.

Just to be complete, it should be noted that persons may be able to register as a British citizen in very limited circumstances if they meet certain conditions.

All the best.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, the past global president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: