Barotseland (now part of Zambia)

Barotseland (now part of Zambia) - flag

Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia)

Watch our BRITISH NATIONALITY WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in Northern Rhodesia and its implications for claims to British nationality in the modern day.

You could be eligible for British citizenship if you were:

  • Born in Northern Rhodesia before independence with a UK-born grandparent.
  • Born after 1948 and before 1983, with a parent born in Northern Rhodesia who had a parent born in the UK.
  • Born in South Africa after 31 May 1962 but before 1983, and you have a UK-born grandparent.
  • Born after 31 Dec 1982 with a parent born in Northern Rhodesia before 1949 and that parent had a parent 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.

How can I find out if I can claim 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 Status Trace
Step 4: Conduct a Citizenship Report

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.

The Independence Day arrangements on 24.10.1964 gave rise to many residents gaining one of the various forms of British Nationality. Those born in Northern Rhodesia would have held British Protected Person (BPP) status. This status would have been lost if the new Zambian constitution granted nationality. If not, then BPP status would have been maintained and, in some cases, this can be upgraded to full British Nationality. In some cases, where Zambian nationality was NOT granted (i.e. because of where your parents were born), then British Overseas Citizen (BOC) status would have been granted.

STATUS OF ZAMBIA (formerly North West and North East Rhodesia)

North West Rhodesia (between 1900 until 28.02.1958) and North East Rhodesia (from 1923 to 28.02.1958) were British Protectorates. The combined territory was named Northern Rhodesia after 1911.

As from 01.03.1958 until 31.12.1963, it was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, an independent Commonwealth country. For the purposes of UK nationality, it remained a Protectorate.

From 01.01.1964 until 23.10.1964, it was a Protectorate and still named Northern Rhodesia.

Click here for more information on the status of a British Protected Person (based on birth in a British Protectorate).

As from 24.10.1964 until the present day, Northern Rhodesia became Zambia and was a independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.


Barotseland was an area of southern North West Rhodesia and for the purposes of nationality, included in the Protectorate.


Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

Learn more about these routes to British Nationality: is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth. is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.