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Indian and Arabian ancestry: Claim British citizenship

Other than the movement of UK-born ancestors during the British colonial era, the mass migration of Indian and Arab 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.

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.

Contact our citizenship team

Phone us (SA): +27 (0) 21 657 2139

Phone us (UK): +44 (0) 20 7759 7581

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
London
WC1A 1DG
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

Australia

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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