United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Double Descent (48-5(1)a Mother)

After 1948 and prior to 1983, British Citizenship could be passed two generations (what is referred to as Double Descent) from a UK-born grandfather where the middle generation was born in a place which at the time was a British ProtectorateBritish Protected StateBritish Mandated Territory, or UK Trust Territory. It also includes a wide number of foreign countries where the Crown exercised Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (known as ETJ).

This solution requires your mother to have been born between 01.01.1949 and 01.01.1983. They must also have a grandfather born in the UK (or a place that was within the Crown's Dominions, although this will require the applicant to have also acquired the Right of Abode through some other means).

While anti-gender discrimination legislation has been enacted, it still affects the grandparent generation. Accordingly, a claim is unlikey to come from a grandmother. If the relevant parent was the father, 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 relevant parent was the mother, an application 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. Your mother must not have:

  • suffered from Automatic Loss of Colonial Nationality from the Independence arrangements (though there are some exceptions to this); AND

  • renounced citizenship of the UK and Colonies.


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.