United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - British Overseas Citizen (BOC) - Federal Rhodesia Marriage
Listen to our BRITISH NATIONALITY WEBINAR where our two British nationality experts - Philip Gamble and Mishal Patel - discuss a family birth in Rhodesia and its implications for claims to British nationality in the modern day.
This is a rare situation - resulting in a successful application as a British Overseas Citizen (or BOC) - involving the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. This solution applies to:
- a woman;
- born before 1 January 1949;
- born in a Commonwealth country (but excluding Rhodesia); AND
- married before 1 March 1958 to a person who was a Federal Citizen of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (by birth or by male-line descent).
Where the applicant also has the Right of Abode (through a UK-born grandparent or through marriage to a British citizen), then this BOC status can be upgraded to full British nationality. Also, any children born to the such a woman might also have a claim to British nationality in some circumstances.
MORE ABOUT THE FEDERATION
The Federation was formed by the coalition of three former British territories - Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (modern-day Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi) - on 01.03.1958 and up to its dissolution on 31.12.1963. Citizens of these three territories could work freely in the Federation, but those who moved there for work purposes needed to register as Federal Citizens. This was typically people who moved up from South Africa or down from East Africa.
Upon dissolution of the Federation on 31.12.1963, those who were Federal Citizens (including those who registered) and who did NOT become Citizens of Southern Rhodesia on 01.01.1964 and were not already a Citizen of the UK & Colonies, became a Citizen of the UK & Colonies (CUKC). This included women married to such citizens before the Federation was formed. Subject to the Independence arrangements in Zambia and Malawi and the terms of the BNA 1981, and subject to escaping the Automatic Loss of British nationality provisions, these CUKCs might become eligible for British citizenship where that person also held the Right of Abode.
Automatic loss of British Colonial Nationality had wide application for those born in Northern Rhodesia. Only those with a father or paternal grandfather born in a place still classified as a British Colony, Protectorate or Protected State would not be subject to the loss provision. While the principle also applied in Nyasaland, its application was not quite as profound.