United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Double Descent (UKF CBR pre 1983)

Legislation was passed in 2002 to address the unfairness that those born before 1 January 1983 to British mothers could not acquire British Nationality. However, elements of gender discrimination still existed. Those who were born to a British mother who was not born in the UK could not take advantage of the various double descent provisions of the earlier law that were available to those born to a British man. A recent Supreme Court Judgement in the UK has made it clear that it is unlawful for the UK Government to impose a requirement from the past on new applicants for citizenship where it was not lawfully possible for that requirement to be met at the time.

That's the theory, anyway. In practical terms (though there are circumstances where these won't apply), this should benefit those in the following situation:

 a) born in a foreign country (which includes South Africa from 31 May 1962, the United States and most European countries);

 b) born between 1 January 1949 and 31 December 1982;

 c) their maternal grandfather (i.e. their mother's father) was not born in the UK or Northern Ireland.; AND

 d) their paternal grandfather (i.e. their father's father) was born in the UK or Northern Ireland.

The final - and key - requirement is that your father must not have had the ability to register you as a British citizen. This would have occured if:

 1) your parents were not married at the time of your birth; OR

 2 ) your parents were married but the local laws of your country of birth did not recognise the validity of your parent's marriage.


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

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.

WhatPassport.com 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.