Planned Heritage Visits for Chagossians 2020/21




The British Government announced in November 2016 a support package to fund projects to improve the livelihoods of Chagossians in the communities where they now live. This includes a significantly expanded programme of Heritage Visits to the British Indian Ocean Territory.


Since November 2017, 154 Chagossians have taken part in eight heritage visits.  Each group spent approximately a week visiting the Territory.   Three further visits are likely to take place in:  September 2020; October/November 2020; and May 2021.


Each Heritage Visit can accommodate approximately 25 participants.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office welcomes expressions of interest from Chagossians for places on these upcoming visits:  to be eligible you need to either have been born in the British Indian Ocean Territory or directly descended through the maternal or paternal line from someone born in the British Indian Ocean Territory.  Please note you need to be 18 or over by the date of travel.


Priority will be given to those who were born in the Territory and those who have not participated previously in a Heritage Visit.


If you would like to be considered for a place on a visit, the following information is required:


  • Name and contact details;
  • Scanned copy of your passport data page (please note passports must be valid for at least six months from the proposed date of travel) or National ID card;
  • Where applicable, confirmation that you were born in the British Indian Ocean Territory;
  • If you are of Chagossian descent, proof of this will be required – a copy of your birth certificate and that of your parent(s) and/or grandparent(s) (or ID card) indicating they were born in the British Indian Ocean Territory.


Please send these details by e-mail to:  Alternatively, copies of the required documentation can be sent in writing to the following address:


If living in UK

British Indian Ocean Territory Heritage Visit

Overseas Territories Directorate, Room W2.80

Foreign & Commonwealth Office, King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH


If living in Mauritius

British Indian Ocean Territory Heritage Visit

British High Commission Port Louis

7th floor, Cascades Building
Edith Cavell Street, P.O. Box 1063, Port Louis


If living in Seychelles

British Indian Ocean Territory Heritage Visit

British High Commission Victoria, 3rd Floor Oliaji Trade Centre,

Francis Rachel Street, Victoria, Mahé

The trip will be physically tiring with long hours spent on aeroplanes and boats and will require a certain level of mobility and resilience.  A medical letter will be requested from all successful applicants indicating they are fit and well with no terminal prognosis. As such, you should consider your ability to cope with such a trip before applying as places are limited and will not be easily reassigned should you be unable to travel.  Please also note the remote location of the British Indian Ocean Territory means there are sometimes delays to flights to and from Diego Garcia.


Allocation of places on heritage visits is at the discretion of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and subject to (i) availability; (ii) prioritisation of applications from those born in the territory before 1973; (iii) applicants providing sufficient evidence that they meet the eligibility and medical fitness criteria set out in this advert; and (iv) prioritisation of applications from Chagossians who have not already participated in a Heritage Visit.


Expressions of interest with the required documentation must be received by Wednesday 8 April 2020