South African citizenship is very useful as you can travel visa-free into many African countries and the majority of South American nations. However, if you have dual citizenship and qualify for a British passport as well, this can make traveling much easier for you.
UK nationality means that you can work, study and travel freely within the United Kingdom. In addition, you can visit any EU country without a visa for up to 90 days. This can save you a lot of money, hassle and time in terms of visa applications.
Although British passports have changed somewhat since the UK has left the European Union, they are still considered to be one of the most sought-after passports in the world and is well worth pursuing if you feel you may be eligible.
Unlike over the past few decades when UK passports were the iconic maroon color, they are now blue.
So, how do you know if you qualify for a British passport as a South African citizen? Well, most South Africans who are eligible for UK passports qualify for British citizenship by descent, meaning either you, one or both of your parents were born in the United Kingdom.
Below is MyBritishPassport’s guide to British citizenship by descent from South Africa.
British Citizenship by Descent from South Africa
How do I get British citizenship by descent?
In order for you to obtain British citizenship by descent, at least one of the following statements would need to be true for your situation:
- your father was born or naturalized in the United Kingdom
- your mother was born or naturalized in the United Kingdom
- you were born in South Africa but one or both of your maternal grandparents were born in the United Kingdom (this would qualify you for British citizenship by double descent)
If one of these statements is true for you, you can begin the process of applying for your British passport.
To avoid confusion and to streamline your application, MyBritishPassport can assist you with every aspect of the process. We guide our clients from start to finish and ensure that their application forms have been completed correctly, they have submitted the right, original supporting documentation and the correct photographs.
Our team is also always there should you have any questions or concerns and we keep you updated on every step of the process.
Can I get British citizenship through my father?
Yes, the good news is that you can obtain British citizenship through your father, as long as he was born in the UK.
If your father was naturalized (ie he was not born in the UK), your birth would have needed to take place after the naturalization to be eligible.
People who were born before 1 January 1983 but outside of the UK to a British-born father would qualify for UK nationality as long as their parents were married at the time of their birth.
However, if their father is a UK citizen, they were born outside of the United Kingdom but their parents were never married, they may or may not be eligible for UK nationality.
Those born between the dates of 1 January 1983 and 30 June 2006, would qualify for UK citizenship as long as their father is considered to be a British citizen.
However, if their parents were never married, further research would need to be conducted.
Children born after 1 July 2006 could qualify for British citizenship as long as the father is British.
If their parents were never married, they would still be eligible for UK citizenship.
Can I claim British citizenship through my mother?
Yes, you could qualify for British citizenship through your mother.
If you were born before 1 January 1983, your mother would have needed to register you as a British citizen when you were born.
Those born between the dates of 1 January 1983 and 30 June 2006 could qualify for British citizenship through descent, even if they were born outside of the UK (but to a British-born mother).
Anyone born after 1 July 2006 could qualify for UK citizenship, as long as at least one parent is British.
For further information on British citizenship by descent from South Africa, feel free to contact a member of the MyBritishPassport team.
Does a British passport mean citizenship?
Yes, as long as you hold a full British passport, you are considered to be a British citizen and can travel in and out of the UK as much as you want.
This comes with a number of privileges, including the right to freely live, work and study in the UK, access to public funds and protection from British embassies, consulates and high commissions whilst abroad.