There are essentially 6 categories of persons in the islands. Only people with Turks and Caicos Islander status (previously titled Belongership) can vote, and they account for approximately 42.5% (2012 Census) of the population.
Resident Foreigners with Annual Resident Permit and Work Permits
This represents the majority of foreign workers in the country, who are restricted to their category of work and employer.
Resident Foreigners with Permanent Residence Status (PRC), with or without right to work
Most retirees or people who have invested in the country are granted PRC status, usually without the right to work.
Citizens (holders of British Overseas Territories Citizenship by virtue of connection with the Turks and Caicos Islands)
This entitles you to a passport (which says Turks and Caicos Islands on the cover) and gives you residence and work rights. This passport, without having the separate Turks and Caicos Islander Status, does not give the holder voting rights or the right to open restricted business categories.
Turks and Caicos Islander Status (previously titled ‘Belongership’)
This status is needed to vote, hold government office, or own a business. It does not entitle you to a passport, but gives you all other rights normally associated with citizenship. It is possible to hold Islander Status, but not have citizenship (a local passport), as these two statuses have historically been independently granted.
Joint Citizens and Turks and Caicos Islanders
This represents the majority of the 42.5% (2012 Census) voting population in the country. They hold the British granted Overseas Territories Citizenship, which gives them a passport, and the locally granted Turks and Caicos Islander status, which gives them voting rights in the country.