South Africa - Passport & Nationality - British Nationality for a South African
Listen to our BRITISH NATIONALITY WEBINAR on South Africa where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in South Africa and its implications for claims to British nationality in the modern day.
Both South Africa and the United Kingdom allow Dual Nationality. This means that a person can hold nationality (and the passport) of both countries, though you must first obtain permission from South Africa Home Affairs.
As a South African, you could be eligible for BRITISH NATIONALITY in the following circumstances:
- You are LIVING IN THE UK on a valid visa and intend to Naturalise as a British Citizen in due course. Read more about British Citizenship through Residency.
- You were BORN IN THE UK* (or Northern Ireland) before 1983. You will have been classified as British Otherwise than by Descent, can hold a British Passport, and can pass British Nationality to your children, irrespective of where these children are born. Read more about British Nationality by Birth.
- You have a PARENT* (a father or mother) who was Naturalised in the UK before your birth, or who was born in the UK (or Northern Ireland) before 1983. Your parent will have been classified as British Otherwise than by Descent, hold a British Passport, and they can pass British Nationality to their children, irrespective of where these children are born. Read more about British Nationality by Descent.
- You have a GRANDPARENT born in the UK (or Northern Ireland). Read more about British Nationality by Double Descent.
- You are UNDER 18, and you have a grandparent or great grandparent born in the UK (or Northern Ireland). Read more about the British Nationality rights of children under the age of 18.
* It gets more complicated if:
As a South African citizen, you are eligible for the following WORKING VISAS in the UK:
- UK Ancestry Visa, if you are 17 or older.
- UK Work Permit, if you have a job offer in the UK or specific skills that are in demand in the UK.
How do I find out if I have a claim to British Nationality?
We suggest following our 4 STEP PROCESS, designed to simplify the complex laws of British nationality and to avoid unnecessary and expensive application fees, to find your answer:
Step 1: Determine 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
Status of SOUTH AFRICA
The Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State (now part of South Africa)
- Between 1815 and 30.05.1910, the Cape Colony was within the British Crown Dominions.
- The Natal Colony fell within the British Crown Dominions from 1844 until 30.05.1910.
- The Transvaal was within the British Crown Dominions between 1877 and 1881. From 1881 until 31.08.1900, it was a British Protectorate. From 01.09.1900 until 30.05.1910, it was within the British Crown Dominions as a colony.
- The Orange Free State was within the British Crown Dominions between 1848 and 1854. Between 1854 and 23.05.1900, it was a foreign country. From 24.05.1900 until 30.05.1910, it was within the British Crown Dominions as a colony.
- Prior to 31.05.1910, South Africa comprised of four separate territories.
- From 31.05.1910 until 31.12.1948, South Africa was within the British Crown Dominions.
- Between 01.01.1949 and 30.05.1962, it was an independent Commonwealth country.
- From 31.05.1962 until 25.07.1994, it was a foreign country.
- From 26.07.1994 until the present day, it was an independent Commonwealth country.
MORE Solutions for South Africans
Below is a selection of scenarios that people with links to Southern Africa could lead to claims to British nationality. 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 after 1948 to a parent born in Southern Rhodesia before 12.09.1923 and you have a UK-born grandparent
- Born in Northern Rhodesia before independence with a UK-born grandparent.
- Born after 1948 and before 1983, with a parent born in Northern Rhodesia and with a UK-born grandparent.
- 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 before 1966 with a Rhodesian-born father, with either grandfather born in the UK.