British Nationality

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.

Bechuanaland (now Botswana)

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

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

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.