Do you have a British Nationality claim via Southern Rhodesia? Breytenbachs receive many inquiries from people born in or who lived in what is now Zimbabwe. These clients think they may have a claim to British nationality as Zimbabwe was once a British colony. The position is complex, but limited opportunities do exist! The situation is unlike Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.
Breytenbachs have set out the position below in layman’s terms.
British Nationality Claim – Southern Rhodesia
Before 23 September 1923, Southern Rhodesia was a foreign place under British jurisdiction and a British protectorate. From that date, it was in UK law part of the British dominions and a colony until full independence in 1980. However, from 1949 it was treated as an independent Commonwealth country with local citizenship under the British Nationality Act 1948. In the period from March 1958 to December 1963, this occurs through it being part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
Thus the position of Southern Rhodesia was similar to, say, Canada or Australia. But these opportunities exist for British citizenship or other forms of UK citizenship:
- A person born from 1949 to 1982 whose parent was a UK citizen (such as through their father’s birth in the UK or UK territory) and if:
- the parent was born in Southern Rhodesia before 23 September 1923;
- the parent was in the service of the government of the UK or a British territory recruited anywhere; or
- the person was born in Southern Rhodesia and did not become a Southern Rhodesian citizen at birth (though this is quite rare).
- A person born after 1982 whose parent was a British citizen, and at the parent’s birth, his or her father had been in the service of the UK government. Or in service of the government of Southern Rhodesia or the Federation having been recruited in the UK.
- A person born outside Southern Rhodesia whose father (also born outside Southern Rhodesia) became a Federation citizen in March 1958 through being on the voters’ roll of Southern Rhodesia. Furthermore, they failed to become a citizen of Southern Rhodesia on 1 January 1964.
British Nationality Claim Assessments and Report Process
Breytenbachs can conduct a thorough assessment of your British nationality claim prospects using our systematic process. We produce a report quickly and cost-effectively. Our report sets out all nationality events relevant to an outcome. It explains which laws have brought these events about, such as the acquisition or loss of nationality. The evaluation looks at both existing British nationality and the potential to acquire British nationality by a grant.
Changes to the British Nationality Act 1981 are expected near the end of this year.
Such changes mean that some avenues to acquiring British nationality may be ending. So we suggest establishing your prospects as soon as possible.
How Breytenbachs can help you
The Breytenbachs British Nationality Status Trace service ensures that you can get a considered opinion with a quick turnaround. If you want to do a British nationality trace, do not delay. Contact us today.