United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship and Rhodesia
Listen to our BRITISH NATIONALITY WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in Rhodesia and its implications for claims to British nationality in the modern day.
A birth in Rhodesia (or Zimbabwe) does not normally give rights to British nationality in the modern day, as it became a self-governing Commonwealth country from 1 January 1949. However, where a parent or grandparent was born in the UK, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, it is possible to have claims to British or Irish citizenship in the modern day.
Prior to 12 September 1923, Rhodesia was controlled by Cecil John Rhodes's company, over which the British Crown had Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (or ETJ). Thereafter, and up until 31 December 1948, it fell within the British Crown Dominions. From 1 January 1949 up until its independence (as Zimbabwe) on 30 April 1980, it was an independent self-governing Commonwealth country for British nationality purposes, even though the UK treated it as a British Colony during this time. Rhodesia formed part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1 March 1958 to 31 December 1964, a territory treated as an independent Commonwealth country. Rhodesia was granted Independence on 18 April 1980.
The most common routes to British nationality for those with a family member born in Rhodesia are as follows:
The most common routes to Irish nationality are as follows:
The UK and Ireland allow Dual nationality - the right to hold more than one citizenship. However, Zimbabwe disallowed this from 2006 (although constitutionally they now allow the right)..