United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Citizenship by Double Descent (Pre 1949 Commonwealth)

Solutions for those born before 01.01.1949 are quite rare unless the applicant has a standard route to British Nationality through a parent born in the UK. This solution relies on the fact that several of the major Commonwealth countries at the time did not have Nationality Laws in place on 01.01.1949.

This particular solution requires the following set of criteria:

  • Candidate born before 1949 in a country that was a post-1949 Protectorate, Protected State, Mandated Territory or Foreign Country;
  • Their father was born in a Foreign Country, Protectorate, Protected State or Mandated Territory;
  • Their mother born in a major Commonwealth country that did not have citizenship law in effect on 01.01.1949 (South Africa, India, Pakistan and Southern Rhodesia); AND
  • A Maternal Grandfather (i.e. mother's father) born in the UK (or a post-1949 Colony where the maternal grandmother was born in the UK, or the subject otherwise holds the Right of Abode).

In this case, the subject does not become a potential citizen of the Commonwealth country. The mother is a pre-1949 British Subject and becomes a CUKC under Section 12(2) on 01.01.149. The subject is a pre-1949 British Subject who does not become a Citizen of a Section 1(3) Country and is not a potential citizen of any Commonwealth Country.


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.