The term British subject has had a number of different legal meanings over time. Currently the term 'British subject' refers, in British nationality law, to a limited class of different people defined by Part IV of the British Nationality Act 1981. Under that Act, two groups of people became "British subjects"; the first were people from the Republic of Ireland born before 1949 who already claimed subject status, and the second covered a number of people who had previously been considered "British subjects without citizenship", and were not considered citizens of any other country. This second group were predominantly residents of colonies which had become independent, but who had not become citizens of the new country. The status cannot be inherited, and is lost on the acquisition of any other citizenship; it will therefore cease to exist on the death of the last remaining subjects.