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Clare, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
Experience:  25 years hight street experience
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Hello,Im wondering about the possibility of my being a

Customer Question


I'm wondering about the possibility of my being a British Citizen. Here are some of the details:

My paternal grandparents were both born in the UK to parents who were citizens and had been born in the UK. They lived in Rhodesia and then the US, finally returning to the UK permanently in the late 1980's.

My father was born in Southern Rhodesia in 1944, at the time of his birth his parents were married. He lived in Southern Rhodesia until the early 1950's, when he came to the US with his parents.

I was born in 1981 to married parents, my mother is a US citizen born to parents who were both US citizens.

Any information you can share on the possibility of my having British Citizenship would be much appreciated!

Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. British Citizenship currently only passes by descent one generation. However prior to 1983 there were circumstances where it might do. So your Grandparents who would have been British by birth - at that time it was enough to be born in the UK to get citizenship would have passed citizenship to your father - he would have been british by descent but because he was born outside the UK he cannot then necessarily pass citizenship by descent to you as you were born outside of the UK. There was provision for citizenship to pass if your birth was registered with a British Consul within a year or if your father was born in a protectorate. At that time part at least of Rhodesia was a protectorate .

Do you know if he was born in a protectorate or if your birth was registered with the British Consul - if so it is possible you may have a claim but you will need to establish the precise status of your father
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

At the time of my father's birth, Southern Rhodesia was not in part a protectorate, it was a self-governing colony (established as such in 1923). I appreciate your efforts, but was able to find better information on my own online.



Expert:  Senior Partner replied 4 years ago.
ok but was your birth registered? If not then you have not got a claim but otherwise you may have as your grandparents were resident in the uK
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I appreciate your efforts, but again I feel like you are not as familiar with this aspect of the law as I need someone to be. I seem to know a lot more about this situation myself then you are able to tell me.


For example, I believe that since my father was born in a British Colony prior to 1949, he is already a British Citizen other than by descent, which would mean that my birth did not need to be registered and that I am a citizen by descent. Your answer implies that my birth needed to be registered, but in this case that would not be true.


I am looking for someone who is more aware of the laws that would have led to my father's citizenship to better understand if I am a citizen by descent.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
What passport did your father carry?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My father carries a US passport, which of course doesn't preclude his being a British Citizen.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Indeed it does not - in fact it may well be the deciding factor.
When did he become a US citizen and what passport did he carry when he first came to the States?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



If I had that information I would know the answer to my own question and not need to ask an expert. I am looking for a lawyer who is familiar with citizenship laws surrounding Southern Rhodesia in the 1940's that would be able to understand my father's citizenship status so that I can understand my options. It seems like that is outside of your scope. I've already been able to find significantly more information just searching the UK citizenship site than your answer has provided.


Thank you for your efforts.