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The different types British nationals

The former British Empire spanned 127 different territories and, at one time, ruled over a third of the world’s population. The decolonisation process in the last century meant that many old forms of British nationality were passed down from one generation to the next and some are still available today.

Types of British citizens

Over the years there have been a variety of far-reaching changes to UK immigration law. As the British Empire grew and shrunk, territories once under its dominion often came to differing agreements with regards to citizenship and nationality.

The consequences of these agreements, in combination with UK immigration law and policy, determine the exact relation to the UK for people who were born in these territories and the children of people who were born in these territories. Depending on where and when you, or your parents or grandparents, were born, you could be eligible to apply to become a British citizen.

Below are sections on the various types of citizenship that have, and still can, transfer claims to British nationality to you or your descendants.

South Africa

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
Cape Town
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514


Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

Hong Kong

Level 1102
The Lee Gardens
33 Hysan Avenue
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
t: +852 3959 8681

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