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

Listen to our RECENT WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in South West Africa 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 where the middle generation (the parent) or the applicant was born in a place where the Crown exercised Extra Territorial Jurisdiction over British Subjects. South West Africa (as it was then called) was such a territory between 17.12.1920 and 30.05.1962. So the two potential routes to British nationality occur as follows:

Situation 1

  • applicant born between 01.01.1949 and 01.01.1983;
  • a parent born in South West Africa between 17.12.1920 and 30.05.1962; AND
  • that parent's father born in the UK.

Situation 2

  • applicant born between 01.01.1949 and 30.05.1962;
  • applicant born in South West Africa; AND
  • a grandfather born in the UK.

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 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.


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.