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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My mother and both sets of gransparents were born in the United

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My mother and both sets of gransparents were born in the United Kingdom. I was born in South Africa in 1954. My father was born in Zimbabwe in 1927. Do I qualify for British passport/citizenship?

Thanks for your patience.

No, I’m afraid not. Citizenship is only permitted to descend one generation to children that are born outside of the UK.

Therefore, your parents may have been eligible to register as UK citizens. However, they would have obtained “UK citizenship by descent”, meaning that they could not pass their citizenship on to you without a considerable period of residence in the UK.

Fortunately, if you wish to come to the UK to work and ultimately settle there is still an avenue available to you. If your grandparents are UK citizens then you can apply for an ancestry visa to come and work here:-

Once you have done so for 5 years you can apply for Indefinite leave to remain, which is permanent settlement. Thereafter, you can naturalise as a UK citizen provided that you meet the criteria on the following page:-
Good luck,

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your reply, but not sure I understand.


I am a first generation South African born of a British mother, who was domicile in the UK until the age of 20 when she left for South Africa to marry my father. Am I not entitled to citizenship through my mother?


Where was your mother born please?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My mother was born in Manchester, England in 1930


Sorry, I see.

I think you can claim UK citizenship because of your mother, but you will have to apply to register as a UK citizen first. This is because before 1983 when the British Nationality Act came in to force a UK mother could not pass on her citizenship by descent. This change in 1983 but it now requires a person to register first.

PLease refer to the following link for eligibility confirmation and details on how you can apply:-

Good luck.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Many, many thanks! I shall do that.

Yes, please rate my answer though. You have not yet.