The Caribbean island of Montserrat has experienced British rule for centuries. British control was established in 1632 and to this day it remains an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. This in itself makes it easy for the overseas British citizens to migrate to the UK with few problems. In July 1995, the island's Soufrière Hills volcano erupted, destroying a large percentage of the island, including its capital city, Plymouth. The volcano continued to erupt over following years, and ultimately two thirds of Montserrat's population left the island. The UK immediately offered assistance, and began to welcome large numbers of refugees from the island. The people of Montserrat were granted full residency rights in the UK in 1998, and citizenship was granted in 2002.