United Kingdom and Turks and Caicos Islands: Rights of foreign nationals of the Turks and Caicos Islands, in particular, whether they have all the rights attached to citizenship in the UK, including entry and exit rights, and the right to study and work without restrictions and to access social and health services (2012-March 2013)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||27 March 2013|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ZZZ104365.FE|
|Related Document(s)||Royaume-Uni et îles Turks et Caicos : information sur les droits des ressortissants des îles Turks et Caicos, notamment s'ils jouissent de tous les droits attachés à la possession de la citoyenneté du Royaume-Uni, y compris les droits d'entrée et de sortie, d'étudier et de travailler sans restrictions ainsi que d'accéder aux services sociaux et de santé (2012-mars 2013)|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, United Kingdom and Turks and Caicos Islands: Rights of foreign nationals of the Turks and Caicos Islands, in particular, whether they have all the rights attached to citizenship in the UK, including entry and exit rights, and the right to study and work without restrictions and to access social and health services (2012-March 2013), 27 March 2013, ZZZ104365.FE , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/528340384.html [accessed 18 January 2018]|
1. British Citizenship
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British overseas territory (UK n.d.a). According to the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, any person who, on 20 May 2002, was a citizen of a British overseas territory, except the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, automatically obtained British citizenship on 21 May 2002, without having to submit an application (UK n.d.b, notes 2, 7). A child born on or after 21 May 2002, in an overseas territory, except the abovementioned sovereign areas, of a parent who is a British citizen or a parent settled either in that same overseas territory or in the UK, will also be a British citizen (ibid. Feb. 2010, sect. 7).
A citizen from a British overseas territory, except the abovementioned sovereign areas, may also be registered as a British citizen if, subject to approval by the Home Secretary, they have not previously renounced British citizenship and if they are a person of "good character"; a criminal record check will be carried out (ibid. n.d.b, sect. 5 and note 8). A citizen from a British overseas territory may also ask to be registered as a British citizen if they meet certain grounds of residence or, in some cases, if they were in service under the government of a British overseas territory (ibid., sect. 2, 4). The grounds of residence are listed under section 2 of the document titled BN12 - Registration of Someone Who is a British Overseas Territories Citizen, a British Overseas Citizen, a British Subject, a British Protected Person or a British National (Overseas) (ibid., sect. 2).
No information specifically addressing the rights of foreign nationals of the Turks and Caicos Islands who have British citizenship could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. However, the following information may be useful.
According to the UK Border Agency, British citizens have the right to live in the UK permanently and are free to leave and re-enter the country at any time (ibid. n.d.c). The right of abode in the UK may be demonstrated through a British passport or a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode issued by the British government or on its behalf (ibid. n.d.d). The certificate of entitlement to the right of abode is also proof of the bearer's right to work in the UK without any immigration restrictions (ibid. n.d.e).
The Border Agency points out the following with respect to access to health services in the UK:
Permanent residents of the UK do not have to pay for treatment by a general practitioner (GP) or at a hospital. ... If you are a visitor to the UK or have temporary permission to live here ..., you may be able to register with a GP in your area and receive free treatment. The GP can decide whether or not to register you. You may not be able to receive the full range of hospital treatment, because you must be a permanent resident or have lived here for a year to qualify for it. This applies even if you are a British citizen or have lived or worked here in the past. (ibid. n.d.f)
According to the British government Internet site, university students in England need a valid British passport or a British birth certificate to apply for financial assistance (ibid. 18 Mar. 2013). Full-time education is compulsory for children between the ages of five and 16, regardless of their immigration status, and free in the public schools (ibid. n.d.g).
Residents of England, Scotland and Wales who meet certain criteria may benefit from jobseeker's allowance (ibid. 15 Mar. 2013).
Tenants who meet certain criteria may benefit from housing benefits (ibid. 22 Mar. 2013).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
United Kingdom (UK). 22 March 2013. "Housing Benefit." [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. 18 March 2013. "Student Finance: How to Apply from GOV.UK." [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. 15 March 2013. "Jobseeker's Allowance." [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. February 2010. Home Office. BN4 - British Citizenship - Children Born Outside the United Kingdom Since 1 January 1983. [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. N.d.a. Home Office. "What Is British Citizenship?" [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. N.d.b. Home Office. BN12 - Registration of Someone Who Is a British Overseas Territories Citizen, a British Overseas Citizen, a British Subject, a British Protected Person or a British National (Overseas). [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. N.d.c. Home Office. "Glossary." [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. N.d.d. Home Office. "Right of Abode." [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. N.d.e. Home Office. "How to Apply for a Certificate of Entitlement." [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. N.d.f. Home Office. "Healthcare." [Accessed 22 Mar. 2013]
_____. N.d.g. Home Office. "Education." [Accessed 27 Mar. 2013]
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Attempts to contact officials of the British High Commission in Canada and of the UK Border Agency were unsuccessful.
Internet sites, including: British Broadcasting Corporation; The Telegraph; Turks and Caicos Islands Information Directory; Turks and Caicos Islands government; United Kingdom - National Health Services; United States - Department of State.