British Crown Dominions

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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.

Fast facts

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 in South Africa after 31 May 1962 but before 1983, and you have a UK-born grandparent. 
  • Born after 1948, and your parents were married before 1949 and your paternal grandfather (your dad’s dad) was born in the UK. 
  • Born between 2 March 1970 and 18 April 1980 in (Southern) Rhodesia, and you have a grandfather 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.

Our expertise in British nationality and immigration law means that when we submit an application on your behalf, you can be sure it will be successful.

Making a successful nationality application

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


One of the forms of territory controlled by the United Kingdom was the British Crown Dominions. This was any place that was under British control before 01.1.1949 but does not include places that were Protected States and Protectorates where some form of local self-administration existed. Birth in a British Crown Dominion led to British Subject status in most (but not all) cases. 

Click here for more information on how British Nationality can be gained from links to these territories.

These areas that made up the British Crown Dominions were:

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

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Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com 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.