Malay States (now part of Malaysia)

Malay States (now part of Malaysia) - flag

Malay States (now part of Malaysia)

You could be eligible for British citizenship if you were:

  • Born in the Malay States after 31.12.1948 and before independence on 30.08.1957, and you have a grandparent born in the UK.
  • Born between 31.12.1948 and 31.12.1982, a parent was born in the Malay States before 30.08.1957 and that parent had a parent born in the UK.
  • Born after 01.01.1983, a parent was born in the Malay States 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.

NOTE: Modern-day Malaysia is made up of several areas, all of which fell under the influence and control of the British before Independence. Almost 1.3 million Malaysians had claims to (a form of) British Nationality AFTER Independence due to inconsistencies and anomalies in UK Nationality legislation and the Constitution of Malaysia. It is critical to note the place and date of birth of BOTH parents and ALL four grandparents.

For more information on how British Nationality could be gained through your birth (or a parent's birth) in a British Protected State coupled with a UK-born grandparent, watch this short video by Philip Gamble:

Birth in Protected State and UK-born grandparent


Up until 31.03.1946, the Malay States were a British Protected State.

From 01.04.1946 until 31.01.1948, they fell part of the Malay Union but was still a Protected State.

Between 01.02.1948 until 30.08.1957, it was part of the Federation of Malaya (but still treated as a British Protected State).

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


The constituent parts of Malaysia are North Borneo (and Labuan),  the Malay States, Penang and Malacca, Singapore (at various times) and Sarawak.

From 16.09.1963 until the present day, it is an independent Commonwealth country.


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.