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Listen to our RECENT WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in South West Africa and its implications for claims to British nationality in the modern day.


South West Africa (now Namibia)

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


STATUS OF NAMIBIA (formerly South West Africa)

From 1884 until 16.12.1920, South West Africa was a foreign territory (as a German Protectorate).

Between 17.12.1920 and 30.05.1962, it was a South African Mandated Territory with extra-territorial jurisdiction.

From 31.05.1962 until 24.08.1990, it was a foreign territory.

From 25.08.1990 until the present day, it is an independent Commonwealth country. Click here for more information about the consequences of being born in a Commonwealth country.

Walvis Bay (now part of Namibia)

From 1878 until 13.12.1948, Walvis Bay was within the British Crown Dominions.

Between 01.01.1949 and 30.05.1962, it was part of an independent Commonwealth country.

From 31.05.1962 until 28.02.1994, it was considered a foreign country (as part of South Africa).

From 01.03.1994 until the present day, it is part of Namibia.


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.