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Indian, African and Arabian ancestry: Claim British citizenship

The movement of UK-born ancestors during the British colonial era and the mass migration of Indian, African and Arabian people in the early 1900s to (and from) many of these former British territories around the world, contributed most to the complexity of British nationality law. If you have family ties to these parts of the world you may well have a claim to British nationality.

Africa, the Caribbean and the British Empire

The principle destination was to East Africa and to the former British territories of the Kenya Colony, the Kenya Protectorate, Tanganyika, Uganda and Zanzibar. To a lesser extent, this migration also included territories around Southern Africa and the Caribbean.

Upon independence of these territories from British rule, many people with ancestors born in the Sub-Continent (including India and Pakistan) and the Arabian Peninsula did not gain nationality of their country of birth. As a result, some of the older pre-1983 forms of British nationality were retained by those affected.

In some circumstances, these old forms of British nationality - British subject, British overseas citizen (BOC), British protected person (BPP) and Citizen of the UK and colonies (CUKC) – could be passed on down to further generations or even upgraded to full British nationality in the modern day.

This is a complex area of British nationality law, and the specialist subject of Mr Philip Gamble’s work and research over the last 20 years. He is a household name in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa for the client work that he has done there, and has a deep understanding of these old colonial claims to British nationality.

British citizenship assessment


Discover if you qualify for British citizenship through your heritage. Our online assessment uses your personal circumstances, and those of your parents and grandparents, to let you know your chances of attaining a British passport.


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).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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