United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship and South Africa
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.
A birth in South Africa does not normally give rights to British nationality in the modern day, as it became a self-governing Commonwealth country on 1 January 1949. However, where a parent or grandparent was born in the UK, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland (or even one of the former British Territories), it is now possible to have claims to British or Irish citizenship.
Up until 31 December 1948, South Africa fell within the British Crown Dominions. From 1 January 1949 up until 30 May 1962, it was an independent self-governing Commonwealth country for British nationality purposes. On 31 May 1962, South Africa formally left the Commonwealth and became a "Foreign Country" for the purposes of British nationality law. South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth on 26 July 1994.
The most common routes to British nationality for those with a family member born in South Africa are as follows:
The most common routes to Irish nationality are as follows:
The UK, Ireland and South Africa allow Dual nationality - the right to hold more than one citizenship.