close menu

British citizenship law has changed: You could be eligible if you have family from Southern Rhodesia

by Reg Bamford | Jan 30, 2017
  • There have been some significant policy changes for those who have a grandfather born in the UK and a parent born in (what was then called) Southern Rhodesia. You may be able to claim British citizenship through these newly added routes.
    UK flag bunting

    One of our founders, Philip Gamble, is widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on complex British nationality research and claims. He specialises in claims that stem from old colonial legislation and territories of the former British empire.

    A recent and significant development – after a lengthy correspondence between Philip and the Home Office’s Policy Directorate – is that Southern Rhodesia is now being treated as being a territory where the Crown had jurisdiction for foreign affairs.

    This follows research into the submissions made by the British government to the United Nations at the time of Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).

    It’s complex theory, but what it means in practice is that those born after 1 January 1983 (including children under 18) will have a claim to British nationality if they had a parent born in (Southern) Rhodesia at the time that their UK-born grandfather was in Crown Service or working for the colonial government (what is referred to as “Designated Service”).

    Crown Service

    Crown Service covers a wide range of work undertaken outside of the UK. It includes, but is not limited to: The British Military, overseas Civil Service, the Colonial Service and the Diplomatic Corps.

    Designated Service

    Designated Service, on the other hand, includes work in the Police and Defence forces, BSAP, public utilities (like power, water, gas, telecoms and mail), the railways, The NAAFI, The Red Cross, The YMCA and YWCA, The Church Army, the Seaman’s Missions; the Salvation Army, and any work with the domestic colonial government in Rhodesia.

    If you think this may apply to you or your children, you can request a free review of your circumstances by ordering a British Passport Review. This is available after you complete our online British nationality assessment.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • No-deal Brexit flags
      [Update] What a no-deal Brexit means for EU nationals
      Sep 09, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Portugual school children
      Moving to Portugal – how to choose the right school for your children
      Mar 06, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Lisbon-aerial
      Why the Portugal Golden Visa remains the best in the world
      Jan 31, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Brexit
      Here’s what the new EU Settlement Scheme will mean for EU nationals living in the UK
      Jan 24, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • UK-family
      UK citizenship case study: How an adopted child can have more rights than a natural child
      Nov 19, 2018  |  by John Dunn
    • british-passport-on-map
      Claim a British passport from your great grandparent
      Oct 16, 2018  |  by John Dunn
    • porto-bridge-sunshine-portugal
      A more affordable way to get an EU residency
      Jul 30, 2018  |  by Andrew Rissik
    • portuguese-flag-blue-sky
      South African investors set their eyes on Portugal’s booming property market
      Jun 29, 2018  |  by Andrew Rissik
    • Big-ben
      The good character requirement: Minor offences that could cost you your British citizenship
      Jun 26, 2018  |  by John Dunn
    • eu-uk-flags
      If you’ve got an EU passport, this is how you can settle in the UK post-Brexit
      Apr 18, 2018  |  by Philip Gamble

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.