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Can you claim British Nationality?
Getting a British passport might be easier than you think. Thanks to the UK's historical laws and agreements with former territories, you may qualify for British nationality depending on where you, your parents and grandparents were born.
You could qualify for a British Passport if:
- you were born in South Africa after 30.05.1962 and before 31.12.1982 and you have a UK-born grandparent; OR
- you were born between 01.01.1949 and 31.12.1982, a parent was born in the Transvaal between 1881 and 31.08.1900 and that parent had a UK-born parent.
You could also be eligible for British citizenship if you were:
- Born to a parent (a father or mother) who was born in the UK before 1983.
- Born before 1983 to a parent who was born after 1949 – as long as that parent a) was a British Citizen, or b) had a parent born in the UK.
- Born after 1948, and your parents were married before 1949 and your paternal grandfather (your dad’s dad) was born in the UK.
- Born between 2 March 1970 and 18 April 1980 in (Southern) Rhodesia, and you have a grandfather born in the UK.
There are hundreds of other ways to qualify. As a general rule, if you were born in a country that is different to either parent or any of your grandparents, or you have a connection back to the UK, Ireland or a former British Territory, then you might have a claim.
Expert UK immigration and nationality advice
We are the world’s leading experts in UK immigration and nationality. For over 22 years, we have been helping thousands of people navigate the complex path to British citizenship.
Some claims to British nationality are relatively straightforward and can be completed quickly if you meet the above requirements. Other claims can be extremely complex and can only be determined by researching old nationality laws.
Try our nationality assessment
Between 1815 and 30.05.1910, the Cape Colony was within the British Crown Dominions.
The Natal Colony fell within the British Crown Dominions from 1844 until 30.05.1910.
The Transvaal was within the British Crown Dominions between 1877 and 1881.
From 1881 until 31.08.1900, it was a British Protectorate. Click here for more information on the status of a British Protected Person (based on birth in Transvaal when it was a British Protectorate).
From 01.09.1900 until 30.05.1910, it was within the British Crown Dominions as a colony.
For more information on how British Nationality could be gained through your birth (or a parent's birth) in a British Protectorate coupled with a UK-born grandparent, watch this short video by Philip Gamble:
The Orange Free State
The Orange Free State was within the British Crown Dominions between 1848 and 1854.
Between 1854 and 23.05.1900, it was a foreign country.
From 24.05.1900 until 30.05.1910, it was within the British Crown Dominions as a colony.
Other areas within South Africa that were, at some time or another, under the control of the British were:
Prior to 31.05.1910, South Africa comprised of four separate territories (above).
From 31.05.1910 until 31.12.1948, South Africa was within the British Crown Dominions.
Between 01.01.1949 and 30.05.1962, it was an independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.
From 31.05.1962 until 25.07.1994, it was a foreign country.
From 26.07.1994 until the present day, it was a independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.