United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Double Descent (Crown Service in Rhodesia)

A claim for British nationality by double descent is available under this category where:

  • a grandfather was born in the UK (or Northern Ireland);
  • the applicant was born after 01.01.1983;
  • the relevant parent (whose father was born in the UK or Northern Ireland) was born in Rhodesia before independence; AND
  • the grandfather was in Crown or Designated Service at the time of the relevant parent's birth.

Finally, the recruitment must have occurred or initiated in the UK, and his relocation to Rhodesia was to take up this position. This, of course, rules out situations where your grandfather came out to southern Africa as a child.

Watch this SHORT VIDEO by Philip Gamble on how this solution arises:

What is Crown or Designated Service?

Up until recently, the Home Office had always maintained that Rhodesia was treated as an independent Commonwealth country for the purposes of the definition of "Crown Service" or "Designated Service". However, following some pioneering research by Philip Gamble that relied on the submissions put forward by the British Government during the debates in the United Nations at the time of UDI, the Home Office could no longer argue that Rhodesia was responsible for its external affairs. As a result, the definition of "Designated Service" now extends to include Rhodesia. 

It covers a wide definition of work undertaken outside of the UK and includes the:

  • British Military
  • Overseas Civil Service
  • Colonial Service
  • Diplomatic Corp
  • Police and Defence forces
  • BSAP in Rhodesia
  • Public Utilities (like power, water, gas, telecoms and mail)
  • Public Railways (senior roles only)
  • Red Cross
  • YMCA and YWCA
  • Church Army
  • Seamans Missions
  • Teaching positions at Government schools; and
  • Any work with the domestic colonial government in the territory.

It also covers employment by other international organsisations such as the Salvation Army.

This is not an exhaustive list and there are numerous other scientific, defense, communication and international organisations that could lead to a successful application for British nationality.


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.

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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.