Updated: Mar 25
IMPORTANT Information - Chagos Descendants
This vital message is directed to ALL Chagossian children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren of descent who believe they may qualify based on Ancestry (a parent, grandparent, or great grandparent born on the Chagos Islands before 8 November 1965) to apply to be registered as a BOTC and British citizens when the new Nationality and Borders bill Chagos clause comes into effect, the effective date has not been agreed at this time.
We have been getting lots of messages via our website & on Facebook from Chagossians who asking for clarification about the application process and what help they will get from the government. Many are saying they are being confused by what some are saying. A person's personal opinions, hopes & aspirations no matter how well-intentioned MUST never take the place of FACTS! So we will try to set the record straight with what we know from official channels at this time. As time goes by, things of course may change, and when we know about these changes and the information is verified with official sources, we will tell you.
Despite what some people are telling you in the Chagossian community, you need to understand the process and law and the impact it has on you and your family right now. If you're thinking about getting on a plane to come to the UK using your Mauritius or Seychelles passports in the hope of applying while you are in the UK for registration - DON'T!! If you don't follow British law as is in place now, it WILL cause problems for your applications.
We have consulted with The Home Office Nationality department about the process and have been asked to stress these critical points to you all. In due course, once the bill becomes law, the Home Office will publish full guidance notes:
1. You or your family members MUST NOT fly to the UK as a visitor on your Mauritius, Seychelles, or other passports to stay here and then apply for your registration.
2. DO NOT give up your current employment or homes or sell your possessions.
3. Applications for registration as a BOTC and British nationality MUST BE made from where you are living now. They cannot be made from within the UK as a new arrival.
4. You MUST be able to provide solid proof of you or your children's Ancestry to a person born on the Chagos Islands before 8 November 1965.
5. Your family members (spouses) WILL NOT be admitted for Immigration until AFTER you have been registered for BOTC & British citizenship from where you are living right now. Your Spouses MUST go through the regular immigration process, satisfy the Good Character rules, meet the spouse minimum income requirements for the immigration route, and pay the Immigration Costs AFTER you have been granted BOTC & British registration, it DOES NOT guarantee that your spouse will be accepted for Immigration to the UK
6. To the best of our knowledge, the UK Government WILL NOT be providing free flights & accommodation, jobs, or food
7. You WILL NOT be put up in hotels by the government as you WILL NOT meet the criteria of being a refugee.
8. We DO NOT know how long the Home Office will take to process applications for registration as BOTCs & British citizenship when the new law when comes into force.
9. Making an application for your registration IS NOT an application for Immigration and does not extend any visitor visa you may currently have
10. Until registration as a British citizen is approved and the person has been to a citizenship ceremony, you are NOT a British citizen and are subject to immigration control.
Please LISTEN to this advice. Valid & Correct Information will be given to you via Chagossian Voices Facebook pages directly from the Home Office and will be published on this web page. We are actively working with them to prepare this information.
Our goal is to ONLY provide verified information. Opinions by word of mouth can be misleading and result in confusion.