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

Where your father was born in South Africa before 1949, there are some circumstances where such a man was reclassified as a British Overseas Citizen (BOC) if his father (your paternal grandfather) was born outside of South Africa.

Some background: The South Africa Nationality Act of 1949 determined who was granted South African nationality when the country was granted the right to determine its own citizenship laws. An anomaly in the Act meant that those classified as "Aliens" - those with a foreign citizenship - did not automatically get the new South African citizenship. In such a case, the person retained their British Subject status and, after 1 January 1949, became a Citizen of the UK & Colonies. This situation arose most commonly where their father was born OUTSIDE of South Africa and outside of a territory that remained part of the British Crown Dominions.

The key criteria of this solution are:

 - Candidate born in a former British territory (Protectorate, Protected State, Mandated or Trust territory or in a country where ETJ was exercised)

 - Candidate born between 1 January 1949 and 31 December 1982;

 - Candidate's father born before 1 January 1949;

 - Candidate's father born in South Africa;

 - Candidate's paternal grandfather born outside of South Africa in what was referred to as a "Foreign Country"; AND

 - The candidate has the Right of Abode.

The Right of Abode normally occures where the candidate:

 a) has a grandparent born in the UK or Ireland; OR

 b) is a woman and married a British or Irish husband before 1983.

Examples of what were considered a "Foreign Country" include: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.


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.