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Bechuanaland (now Botswana)

Bechuanaland was a British Protectorate up to its Independence on 30.09.1966. You could be eligible for British citizenship if you were:

  • Born in Bechuanaland after 31.12.1948 and before independence on 30.09.1966, and you have a grandparent born in the UK.
  • Born between 31.12.1948 and 31.12.1982, a parent was born in Bechuanaland before 30.09.1966 and that parent had a parent born in the UK.
  • Born after 01.01.1983, a parent was born in Bechuanaland 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 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

 

Residents and those born in Botswana have several ways in which to claim British Nationality. These are:

  • A British or UK-born mother or father
  • Not having gained nationality of Botswana on Independence
  • A grandparent born in the UK
  • A parent or grandparent born outside of Botswana
  • A parent or grandparent holding a nationality other than Botswana

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:

Birth in Protectorate and UK-born grandparent

As a general rule, any person born in Botswana before Independence in 1966 (when it was known as Bechuanaland) was a British Protected Person (BPP).

The Independence Day arrangements on 30.09.1966 gave rise to many residents gaining one of the various forms of British Nationality. Those born in Bechuanaland would have held British Protected Person (BPP) status. This status would have been lost if the new Botswana 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 Botswana nationality was NOT granted (i.e. because of where your parents were born), then British Overseas Citizen (BOC) status would have been granted.

For these and other forms of British Nationality available to Botswana residents, those born there or nationals, click on British Citizenship.

STATUS OF BOTSWANA (formerly Bechuanaland)

From 1884 until 29.09.1966, it was a British Protectorate. Click here for more information on the status of a British Protected Person (based on birth in a British Protectorate).

From 30.09.1966 until the present day, it was an independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.