British nationality status tracev

British nationality status trace. Image credit: AdobeStock

British nationality status trace

(Partner Content) If you were born in Rhodesia, St Helena, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Australia, India (the list goes on) and have a United Kingdom connection, the chances are that you might have a claim to British Citizenship.

British nationality status tracev

British nationality status trace. Image credit: AdobeStock

Breytenbachs have exciting news to share with you. We are now offering nationality status traces as part of our services.

We do extensive research and provide our clients with an extensive British Nationality Status trace report in only a few days. 

To be British or not to be British – that is the question

A brief history of British Nationality Laws shows that there are many ways in which a person could have a claim to British nationality. 

Before 1949, the Dominions for British Nationality purposes were Australia, Canada, Ceylon, Eire (Ireland), New Zealand, South Africa, and from 1947 India and Pakistan. 

In 1947 a Commonwealth conference on citizenship was held, and a new scheme was informally agreed where each Commonwealth country would have separate local citizenship. Southern Rhodesia, although a colony, wanted local citizenship like an independent Commonwealth country and kept out of the new UK Scheme. 

The British Nationality Act of the UK took effect on 1 January 1949, which defined these nationalities: 

  • Citizen of the UK and Colonies; 
  • British Subject without citizenship; 
  • Irish British Subject; 
  • British Protected Person. 

In general, a person born in the UK or a colony became a citizen of the UK and Colonies at birth. 

The British Nationality Act of 1981 took effect on the 1st of January 1983. Under this Act:

  • A Citizen of the UK and colonies with right of abode in the UK became British Citizens (apart from a very small exception); 
  • A Citizen of the UK and colonies with a remaining British Overseas territory became a British Dependent Territories citizen; 
  • The remaining Citizens of the UK and colonies became British overseas citizens; 
  • British Subjects who were not citizens of the commonwealth country became British Subject under this act; 
  • British protected persons continued on the same basis. 

In the 1981 Act, there have been many provisions for a grant of British Citizenship by registration and naturalisation.  Some provisions for registration are via a parent’s citizenship, by residence, by statelessness, and some through a combination of these. 

How Breytenbachs can help you 

British nationality laws can be very complicated and confusing. Fortunately, Breytenbachs have a team of experts specialising in British Nationality. They will be able to make a status trace application for you and advise what claim you have to British nationality if any. 

Do not delay. Do a trace on your British nationality claims while all of these laws are still in place. Please email us at or visit our website

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.