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British Nationality Assessment

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Ask Philip Gamble for his opinion on your claim to British Nationality (read more).

Status Trace
Get Philip Gamble (£650) or his Nationality colleagues (£350) to do a Status Trace on your rights to British Nationality (read more).


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Countries > United Kingdom > Passport & Nationality

British Citizenship by Double Descent

Can you claim British Nationality from a grandparent?

Yes, it is possible. There are provisions in nationality law allowing a claim from a grandparent (normally born in the UK, but they could have been born in another former British territory). There are also anomalies in the drafting of old colonial nationality law that derive British Nationality to grandchildren in the modern day. It's a complex area, and any claim from a grandparent would be termed a Non-Standard route to British nationality.

What are the common routes?

These are Non-Standard routes to British Nationality, and will require the services of a professional nationality expert. But the the most common circumstances are:

You were born between 01.01.1949 and 31.12.1982

  • You have a UK-born grandparent with a parent who was in Crown Service at the time of your birth;
  • You were born in a British Protectorate, British Protected State, Mandated Territory or Foreign Country with ETJ and you have a UK-born grandparent;
  • A parent was born in a British Protectorate, British Protected State, Mandated Territory or Foreign Country with ETJ and one of their parents (i.e. your granparent) was born in the UK;
  • A parent was born in a Post 1949 British Colony and one of their parents (i.e. your grandparent) was born in the UK;
  • You were born in a Post 1949 British Colony and one of your grandparent was born in the UK;
  • A parent was born in a British Protectorate and one of their parents (i.e. your granparent) was born in India before 1949;
  • You were born in a British Protectorate and you have a grandparent born in India before 1949;
  • You were born in Rhodesia between 02.03.1970 and 18.04.1980 and you have a UK-born grandfather;
  • You were born before 1966 outside of Rhodesia, your father was born in Rhodesia, and you have a UK-born grandfather;
  • A parent was born after 01.01.1949 and that parent had a parent born in the UK;
  • You were born in South Africa between 30.05.1962 and 31.12.1982 and you have a UK-born grandparent; OR
  • A perent was born in South Africa between 30.05.1962 and 31.12.1982 and that parent had a parent born in the UK.

You were born after 01.01.1983

  • You have a UK-born grandparent who was in Crown Service at the time of your parent's birth;
  • A parent was born in a Post 1949 British Colony and one of their parents (i.e. your grandparent) was born in the UK; OR
  • A parent was born before 1949 in a British Protectorate, British Protected State or Mandated Territory and one of their parents (i.e. your granparent) was born in the UK.

Click here for more details on what territories are included in:

There are hundreds of other circumstances that would result in a valid claim but they are complex and would rely on a case-by-case analysis by a nationality expert. If you feel that you or your children may have such a claim, then we suggest you follow our 4 STEP PROCESS to find out the answer (see below).

Children under the age of 18 and a claim through a UK-born grandparent

There are additional provisions allowing children under the age of 18 to claim British Nationality from a British parent who was born outside of the UK. In most cases, this parent is classified as British by Descent, and can normally not pass British Nationality. These are generally covered by the following situations:

  • A British parent has spent at least 3 years in the UK in the past;
  • A British parent spends at least 3 years in the UK in the future, as long as the child is still under 18 at the time of application;
  • A British parent gives birth to a child who is "Stateless" at the time of birth (in other words, the child does not automatically take on the citizenship of their country of birth or a parents' nationality);
  • A British parent is in long-term employment with a UK-domiciled company, but working outside of the UK; OR
  • A discretionary registration in exceptional cases (sporting excellence, for example).

Again, there are many more situations where children under 18 could qualify, and these require a case-by-case analysis of the circumstances.

How do I find out if I have a claim to British Nationality?

We suggest following our 4 STEP PROCESS, designed to simplify the complex laws of British nationality and to avoid uneccessary and expensive application fees, to find your answer:

Step 1: Dertermine whether you have a Standard Route (birth in the UK before 1983, or a parent born in the UK before 1983)
Step 2: If not, complete our free Nationality Assessment
Step 3: Order a free British Passport Review
Step 4: Conduct a Status Trace

Complete our nationality assessment

To find out whether you or your children might have a claim, take a couple of moments to complete our FREE online passport assessment.

British Nationality Assessment

 
"Can I get a British Passport if a grandparent was born in the UK?" This is one of the most common British Nationality questions posed. British Citizenship through Double Descent is possible where you have a grandparent (either maternal or paternal) born in the UK (or Ireland before 31.12.1922).

The general rules for gaining British Nationality from a grandfather or grandmother born in the UK or Ireland are where:

  • the relevant grandparent or parent was in Crown Service at the time of your parent's birth;
  • your parents were married before 01.01.1949;
  • one of your parents was born in a territory administered by the United Kingdom at the time (see the full list of British Territories);
  • You (or your relevant parent) did not become a citizen of the country of your birth;
  • You are under 18 years of age;
  • One of your parents has spent 3 years in the UK; OR
  • One of the exceptions or anomalies created by the complexity of British Nationality law.

Click here for more general rules on British Nationality.

The solutions that WhatPassport.com have discovered under this category are:

 

CROWN SERVICE

For more information on how British Nationality could be gained when a parent or grandparent was working in Crown Service, then watch this short video by Philip Gamble:

British Citizenship by Double Descent (1981 S14(2) Crown Service): Applicant born after 1983. A Paternal grandfather born in the UK (or Ireland before 1922) and in Crown Service at the time of your father's birth.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (1981 S14(2) UKM Crown Service): Applicant born after 1983. A Maternal grandfather born in the UK (or Ireland before 1922) and in Crown Service at the time of your mother's birth.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Crown Service-48c1): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. A Paternal grandfather born in the UK (or Ireland before 1922) and in Crown Service at the time of your father's birth.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Crown Service-48c2): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. A Maternal grandfather born in the UK (or Ireland before 1922) and in Crown Service at the time of your mother's birth.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Registration): Applicant under 18 and born outside of UK. A parent is British Passport holder (but not born in UK) and was in Crown Service at time of your birth.

 

PARENT BORN IN A BRITISH TERRITORY

See the full list of British Territories. For more information on how British Nationality could be gained when you (or a parent) was born in a former British Territory and you have a UK-born grandparent, then watch this short video by Philip Gamble:

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Territory-48a1): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. Paternal Grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). Parent born in Protected State, Protectorate, Trust Territory, Mandated State or Foreign Country with ETJ.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Registration-48b1): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. Paternal Grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). Parent born in Foreign Country. Candidate's birth Registered at a British Consulate.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Registration-48b2): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. Maternal Grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). Parent born in Foreign Country. Candidate's birth Registered at a British Consulate.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Commonwealth-48d1): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983, and born in a Commonwealth country. Paternal Grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922).

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Commonwealth-48d2): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983, and born in a Commonwealth country. Maternal Grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922).

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Territory-48a2): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. Maternal Grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). Parent born in Protected State, Protectorate, Trust Territory, Mandated State or Foreign Country with ETJ.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (PG 1948 5aROAF): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. Maternal Grandfather born in British Crown Dominion, and one other grandparent born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). Mother born in Protected State, Protectorate, Trust Territory, Mandated State or Foreign Country with ETJ.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (PG 1948 5aROAM): Applicant born between 1949 and 1983. Paternal Grandfather born in British Crown Dominion, and one other grandparent born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). Father born before 1949 in Protected State, Protectorate, Trust Territory, Mandated State or Foreign Country with ETJ.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (12-2 Pre 1949): Applicant born before 1949 in country that did not become Commonwealth or UK & Colonies in 1949. A parent must be born before 1915 and not born in country that became Commonwealth or UK & Colonies in 1949. A grandparent born in the UK or Ireland.

British Citizenship by Double Descent-Swaziland (1948-5-1d): Applicant born in Swaziland between 1968 and 1983. Father born outside Swaziland. Any grandparent born in the UK (or Ireland before 1922).

British Citizenship by Double Descent-(UK Territories): Applicant born in British Protectorate or British Protected State before 1949. Father born in British Crown Dominions. Any grandparent born in the UK (or Ireland before 1922).

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Sec 2(1) 1981 Sec 14(i)): Applicant born after 01.01.1983. Parent born before 1949 in Parent born in Protected State, Protectorate, Trust Territory, Mandated State or Foreign Country with ETJ. That parent must have a parent born in UK (or Ireland before 1922) OR Commonwealth country with Paternal grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922).

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Sec 2(1) 1981 Sec 14(ii)): Applicant born after 01.01.1983. Parent registered as British at an Embassy. That parent's mother born in UK (or Ireland before 1922).

British Citizenship by Double Descent (48-5(1)a): Applicant born before 01.01.1983. A parent born before 01.01.1949 in a place which on 01.01.1949 was a British Protectorate, British Protected State, British Mandated Territory or any place outside of the British Empire where Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction was exercised over British Subjects. The relevant parent must have a father born in the UK, Ireland or a place within the Crowns Dominions.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (CUKC Parent): Applicant born after 01.01.1983. Parent born in territory that formed part of UK & Colonies on 01.01.1949. Parent in question had mother and father born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). If parent's father not born in UK, then that parent's paternal grandfather born in UK (or Ireland before 1922).

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Burma Independence): Candidate born in Burma before 04.01.1948 and father or paternal grandfather born in Crown Dominions, British Protectorate, British Protected State, UK Trust Territory or Foreign Country with ETJ. A grandparent born in UK or Ireland.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Burma Father): Candidate born in Burma before 01.01.1949 and father or paternal grandfather born outside of Burma. A grandparent born in UK or Ireland.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Mother with Abode): Applicant born after 01.01.1983. Mother born in territory that formed part of UK & Colonies on 01.01.1949. Both grandfathers born in UK (or Ireland before 1922). If maternal grandfather not born in UK, then mother's paternal grandfather in UK (or Ireland before 1922).

 

REGISTRATION

British Citizenship by Double Descent (Registration S4(C)-Mother): Applicant born before 1983. Paternal Grandfather born in UK or a territory that remained a UK Colony after 1949 (in which case, another grandparent must be born in the UK or Ireland before 1949). Parents married before 1949.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (PG-1981 S3(2) 2010): Applicant under 18 and born to a British Parent. This parent spent 3 years in the UK. This parent has a link to the UK.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (1979 Home Secretary): Applicant born after 01.01.1983. A parent who was born between 07.02.1961 and 01.01.1983 and was Registered as a Citizen of the UK & Colonies (CUKC). This parent's mother born in the UK.

 

MOTHERS

For more information on how British Nationality could be gained from recent anti-gender discrimination legislation and British Mothers, then watch this short video by Philip Gamble:

British Citizenship by Double Descent (UKM 12(5)1948 PGF): Applicant born after 1949. Parents married before 1949. Mother was a British Subject.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (UKM 12(5)1948 PGM): New anti-gender discrimination rule. Applicant born after 1949. Parents married before 1949.

British Citizenship by Double Descent (1981 S2 Mother S39BC): Anomaly in anti-gender discrimination. The mother acquires the Right of Abode through her marriage to a man who is born outside the UK who is British by descent, but she also acquires the Right of abode by being a Commonwealth Citizen with a parent born in the UK.

British Nationality Assessment