Turks and Caicos Islander Status

What is Turks and Caicos Islander Status

Turks and Caicos Islander status is the highest immigration status accorded to persons who acquired the status and or bestowed the status upon application in accordance with the laws of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The authority to grant TCI status is provided for in section 103 of the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution Order 2011 and detailed in the Turks and Caicos Islander Status Ordinance 2015. All persons who acquired Belonger status under previous Immigration Ordinances retained their status.   

Why was a new Turks and Caicos Islander Status Ordinance introduced?

Prior to 2009 there was no objective means through which Turks and Caicos Islander (Belonger) status by way of grant or bestowal on the basis of outstanding contribution to the economic and social development of the Islands.  By extension there was wide scope for abuse a held. Upon return to ministerial government, elected officials were mandated to bring into force new legislation which, at its minimum, corresponds with the provisions of section 103 of the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution. The intent is that of the new law it to provide an objective, transparent and fair process through TCI status may be granted.

What are the benefits of being a Turks and Caicos Islander?

Given that Turks and Caicos Islander Status is the highest immigration status locally, only Turks and Caicos Islanders can do the following:

  • Vote in an election
  • apply for and be considered for the acquisition of residential crown land
  • apply for and be considered for the grant of a TCI Government scholarship
  • apply for and be considered for the grant of a business license to operate in the restricted business license category

Does Turks and Caicos Islander Status alone make a person eligible to hold or apply for a Turks and Caicos Islands passport?      

No. A person is or becomes a Turks and Caicos Islander through the provisions of the Turks and Caicos Islander Status Ordinance 2015 (or Immigration Ordinance prior to that date) whereas a person becomes eligible for a Turks and Caicos Islands passport as a result of being a British Overseas Territory Citizen (of the Turks and Caicos Islands) under the provisions of the British Nationality Act. Most persons are both a Turks and Caicos Islander as well as a British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC). Some persons, primarily those who would have acquired their status through an application process, are either only a Turks and Caicos Islander or a British Overseas Territory Citizen. 

Please click here and read the attached document entitled Do I need to Naturalise to determine if you are a BOTC.         

How does a person acquire Turks and Caicos Islander status? 

There are two main ways through which a person acquires Turks and Caicos Islander Status.

1-As of Right (through birth or descent)

2-By Grant

ACQUISITION AS OF RIGHT

There are three ways through which a person acquires TCI Status as of right. 

1. By virtue of being BORN INSIDE THE ISLANDS


 and at the time of birth the person’s mother or father has Turks and Caicos Islander status 

2. By virtue of being BORN OUTSIDE THE ISLANDS, and


At the time of birth the person’s mother or father has  Turks and Caicos Islander  status

+


At least one of the person’s parent or grandparent was born in the Islands

OR


At the time of birth the person’s mother or father has  Turks and Caicos Islander  status

+


At least one of the person’s parent was settled in the Islands

3. By virtue of being ADOPTED IN THE ISLANDS


At the time of the person’s adoption the adopted mother or father has Turks and Caicos Islander status

+


The person was less than eighteen years old at the time of adoption (if adopted after 2015)

ACQUISITION BY GRANT

In order to obtain Turks and Caicos Islander status by grant, it is necessary to complete the prescribed application form and submit it to the appropriate authority.

There are several routes through which a person may apply for Turks and Caicos Islander status.

  • BOTC and BRITISH CITIZEN ROUTE

Main qualifying conditions for applying:

(a)
Must be a British Overseas Territory Citizen (BOTC) of the Turks and Caicos Islands

OR

(b)
Must be a British Citizen


AND


Be a PRC Holder for at least 5 years

OR


Be legally resident for 10 years


AND


Must not be incarcerated or declared bankrupt in any country

  • SPOUSE OF A TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDER

Main qualifying conditions for applying

a. The applicant’s spouse did not acquire his/her Turks and Islander status through marriage

b. The Governor is satisfied that

     i. the applicant lived with his spouse who is a Turks and Caicos Islander other than through marriage and lived with him/her for ten years ending with the date of application; an

     ii. the spouse of Turks and Caicos Islander has been living in the Turks and Caicos Islands two years prior to the date of application.

  • DEPENDENT CHILD OF A SPOUSE OF A TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDER

Main qualifying conditions for applying

     i. Is the biological child of a person who acquired Turks and Caicos Islander status through marriage

     ii. Is under 18 years of age

  • REGISTERED BOTC under Section 15(4) of the BRITISH NATIONALITY ACT (BNA) 1981

Main qualifying conditions for applying

     i. Born in the Islands

     ii. Parents had legal status in the Islands at the time of applicant’s birth

     iii. Is 18 years or older

     iv. Has legally resided in the Islands for at least 10 year

Will everyone who satisfies these qualifying conditions be granted Turks and Caicos Islander status?

No. There are other conditions that MUST be considered when assessing applications EXCEPT for when the applicant is the child, stepchild or parent of and Islander.  

These conditions are, whether –

  • it is in the public interest to grant Islander status;
  • the applicant is of good character and conduct;
  • the applicant has a clean criminal record;
  • whether the applicant suffers from any communicable or mental disease that would make him a danger to the society;
  • the economic situation of the islands and protection of persons already engaged in similar gainful occupations have been considered;
  • the desirability of granting the right to be an Islander to applicants with different backgrounds and geographical areas so that the social and economic life of the Islands may be maintained;
  • the applicant brings any exceptional skill to the Islands;
  • the desirability of retaining the economic resources of the Islands in control of Islanders; and
  • the applicant meets any prescribed evaluation criteria.

What is the TCI Status Card and how is it acquired?

The National Turks and Caicos Islander Status Card was introduced on August 13, 2012 to serve as evidence that the person named thereon is a Turks and Caicos Islander.

Persons who acquire the status as of right or by way of grant (through marriage and otherwise) are eligible to apply for the card. It is important to note however that persons who are claiming the status via grant, MUST acquire the Turks and Caicos and Caicos Islander Certificate prior to doing so.  

Section 11 of the Turks and Caicos Islander Status Ordinance requires the person asserting to be a Turks and Caicos Islander to prove that he or she is. 

What is the application fee for Turks and Caicos Islander Status and the National Turks and Caicos Islander Status Card?

The current fees are as follows:

Non- Refundable Administrative fee……  $150

TCI status via Marriage………………………… $1,500

TCI Status via BOTC …………………………..…..$5,000

TCI Status via British Citizenship………..…..$5,000

TCI Status Card…………………………………..……First Issue is Free

Replacement TCI STatus Card…………………………………….$50

The applicant will be required to pay separately, the actual cost of advertising in the newspaper.

Who will decide on my application?

Applications other than by marriage will be considered by members of the Turks and Caicos Islander Status Commission.

When can I apply? 

All applications except those that are submitted on the basis of marriage may be made between June 1 and September 30 each year.

Applications on the basis of marriage may be submitted at any time after the qualifying period.      

How can I obtain application forms?

  • If you are applying by virtue of being a British Overseas Territories Citizen (TCI) or British Citizen - Click here
  • If you are applying by virtue of being the spouse of Turks and Caicos Islander - Click here
  • If you are already a Turks and Caicos Islander and want to apply for the National Turks and Caicos Islander status card - Click here

There is no fee associated with the first application. If you require a new card, the fee is $50

Where do I submit application forms?

  • Applications via British Overseas Territories Citizen (TCI) or British Citizen route are to be submitted to the:

               The Secretary
               Turks and Caicos Islander Status Commission
               Three Degrees Office Complex, Airport Road
               Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands 

  • Applications via the spouse of Turks and Caicos Islander route are to be submitted to the:

c/o Customer Service Centres on the islands of Grand Turk and Providenciales and Immigration Department on the Islands of South Caicos and North Caicos

How to Contact Us

               Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
               Website : gov.tc/tcistatus