The UK has special relationships with many countries either by connection through commonwealth, territory, or other historical reasons. As such, nationals of these countries have the right to British citizenship. The act of such persons becoming British citizens is called registering citizenship and is done so by filing application form B(OTA).
Form B(OTA) is the form for British nationals to register citizenship. British nationals are persons with a close connection to Britain. British nationals eligible for citizenship are:
- A British Overseas Citizen
- A British Overseas Citizen is a citizen of a British territory. Currently there are 14 British territories: Akrotiri and Dhekelia; Anguilla; Bermuda; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn Islands; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; and Turks and Caicos Islands.
- A British Subject (under the British Nationality Act of 1981)
- The term British subject has undergone two major definition changes - the first in 1949 and the second in 1983 when the British Nationality Act of 1981 was imposed. Before 1949 nearly all persons with a close connection to the UK were referred to as British subjects and after that date only citizens of Commonwealth countries were referred to as such. From 1983 to today, the term is used to define the following:
- a British subject without citizenship, which means you were a British subject on 31 December 1948 who did not become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, a citizen of a Commonwealth country, a citizen of Pakistan, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland;
- a person who had been a citizen of Eire and a British subject on 31 December 1948 and had made a claim to remain a British subject; or
- a woman who had registered as a British subject on the basis of her marriage to a man who was in one of the two categories above.
- A British Protected Person
- A British Protected Person is a term used for persons living outside of the UK in places that are given British protection such as British protectorates and mandated territories. After 1949, this status was only granted to people who had no other nationality or way of obtaining one. From 1983 to today, after the British Nationality Act of 1981 was enacted, a British protected person is defined as:
- citizens or nationals of Brunei under any law in Brunei that provided for citizenship or nationality (but this status was subsequently lost when Brunei became a fully sovereign state);
- anyone who, immediately before 1 January 1983, was a British protected person; and
- anyone who would otherwise be born stateless, on or after 1 January 1983, in the United Kingdom or an overseas territory if, at the time of their birth, their mother or father was a British protected person.
- A British National (Overseas)
- A British National (Overseas) is a special category designated as of 1997 in the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act. When sovereignty of Hong Kong returned to China during that year, this special status was given to persons who met the following requirements:
- An ordinarily resident* in Hong Kong on February 4, 1997;
- An ordinarily resident at the time of application to register citizenship;
- On February 4, 1997, you held no other nationality or citizenship except British nationality; and
- You are not a British National (overseas) of Chinese ethnic origin.
*Ordinarily Resident: This means you can prove you have a close link with a country that shows that country is where you normally live. Proof of ordinary residence would be the length of time you have spent in the country, the continuity and general nature of residence.