One of three forms of citizenship introduced (as British Dependent Territories Citizenship) by the British Nationality Act 1981 to replace citizenship of the UK and Colonies. The others are British citizenship and British Overseas citizenship. The relevant territories for the purposes of this form of citizenship are listed in a schedule to the Act; they include Bermuda and Gibraltar, among others.
On the date on which it came into force (1 January 1983), the Act conferred the citizenship automatically on a large number of existing citizens of the UK and Colonies on the grounds of birth, registration, or naturalization in a dependent territory or descent from a parent or grandparent who had that citizenship on one of those grounds. As from that date, acquisition (and deprivation in the case of registered or naturalized citizens) have been governed by principles similar to those applying to British citizenship, except that acquisition by registration relates almost exclusively to minors. The right to register as a British Overseas Territories Citizen was further limited by the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. A British Overseas Territories citizen can become entitled to registration as a British citizen by virtue of UK residence. On 1 July 1997, those who were British Dependent Territories citizens by virtue of a connection with Hong Kong ceased to be British Dependent Territories citizens. However, they were entitled to acquire a new form of British nationality, known as British National (Overseas), by registration. The British Overseas Territories Act 2002 extended full British citizenship (including the right of abode) to nearly all British Overseas Citizens, most of whom now hold both types of citizenship.