Basutoland (now Lesotho)
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 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.
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.
Complete our nationality assessment
Residents and those born in Basutoland have several ways in which to claim British Nationality. These are:
- A British or UK-born mother or father
- Not having gained nationality of Lesotho on Independence
- A grandparent born in the UK
- A parent or grandparent born outside of Basutoland
- A parent or grandparent holding a nationality other than Lesotho
The Independence Day arrangements on 03.10.1966 gave rise to many residents gaining one of the various forms of British Nationality. Those born in Lesotho would have held Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) status. This status would have been lost if the new Lesotho constitution granted nationality. If not, then British Overseas Citizen (BOC) status would have been achieved and, in some cases, this can be upgraded to full British Nationality.
For these and other forms of British Nationality available to Lesotho residents, those born there or nationals, click on British Citizenship.
STATUS OF LESOTHO
Between 01.01.1949 and 03.10.1966, it formed part of the UK and Colonies. Click here for more information on the status of Citizen of the United Kingdom & Colonies (CUKC), a status achieved by birth in the Colony.
As from 04.10.1966 until the present day, it became Lesotho and was an independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.