United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Double Descent (48-5(1)a Malawi)
Listen to our BRITISH NATIONALITY WEBINAR on Malawi where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in Nyasaland and its implications for claims to British nationality in the modern day.
After 1948 and prior to 1983, British Citizenship could be passed two generations by Descent from a UK-born grandfather where the middle generation (the parent) or the applicant was born in a British Protectorate. Nyasaland (now Malawi) was such a territory before 28.02.1958 and again in the period between 01.01.1964 and 05.07.1964.
This particular solution arises in two ways. The first requires the parent born in the British Protectorate:
- applicant born between 01.01.1949 and 31.12.1982;
- parent born in Nyasaland before its independence; AND
- the relevant grandfather born in the UK.
The second route requires the applicant to be born in the British Protectorate:
- applicant born in Nyasaland after 1948 but before its independence; AND
- the paternal grandfather born in the UK.
If the claim comes from the paternal grandfather, then the applicant is British by operation of law (i.e. automatically British), as long as the relevant family members were born legitimately. However, if the claims comes down from a maternal grandfather, then an application to register as a British citizen has to be made. This route through the mother has become available after recent anti-gender discrimination legislation was passed.
There are two further points to note. The applicant and the relevant parent from whom the claim stems must not have:
suffered from the Automatic Loss of Colonial Nationality enacted upon Independence (though there are some exceptions to this); AND
renounced citizenship of the UK and Colonies.