Yet Another Passport Eligibility

KevinE

New Member
Long twisted past. My grandfather is British (long passed), my dad was born in Penang, Malaysia but was a British citizen. He immigrated to Rhodesia which is where I was born in Feb 1967. We left Rhodesia in 1976 and immigrated to Canada under British passports and later received Canadian Citizenship. I have always wanted to get a British passport so I am wondering if I would be eligible.

My parents are both deceased but I still have an Aunt (dads sister) and cousins who are still in the UK. I don't know just yet if they would have a birth certificate for my grandfather. If I am able to get a passport, would this extend to my wife who is Canadian?

Thanks in advance.
Kevin
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
Okay so...
  • Your grandfather was British which means your father is British regardless.
  • Your father was born in Malaysia when it was still a British colony which means that
  • You are a type of British national by descent, as you were born after Rhodesian independence (had you been born a few years earlier, you would have been a British national by virtue of birth in a colony but you would have lost that status when Rhodesia became independent).
So the big question is, what status did your father have when you were born? If he was a full British citizen, you are a full British citizen by descent. However, if his British citizenship was also by descent (by virtue of being born in a colony) and the only inheritable status he had was a different type of British nationality, then you only inherited a lesser status.

Do you have any of your father's old passports? Or do you have the passport you landed in Canada on? If you do, can you tell me if they have any three letter codes on them, beginning with "G"?

If you don't, the best thing you can do is to apply for a passport with the following:
  • your Rhodesian birth certificate
  • your parents' marriage certificate (which you can apply for from the constituency they were married in, be it Malaysia, Rhodesia, or somewhere else)
  • your father's Malaysian birth certificate (apply for it from Malaysia)
  • And I would see if you can get your grandfather's birth certificate from England (or whichever country in the UK he was born in) just to be safe.
Make sense?
 

KevinE

New Member
Thanks, that's a great help. If I were able to get a passport, my wife would be eligible as well?

We are looking at taking an extended travel to the UK for upwards of 2 years. Is a visa another, possibly easier, option? My thought is a passport gives me other longer term options if need arise.

Cheers,
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
Oh sorry, didn't get to that part of your question. Sorry about that! No, she would not be eligible immediately. She would have to immigrate but I believe the UK has a special process for spouses so it is faster than it would be otherwise.

I'm sorry to say I don't know much about UK visitor visas. For you, the passport is absolutely the easiest way. For your wife, I'm not sure. Most countries allow entry for 3-6 months at a time to foreigners as visitors (I believe the UK is 6 months for Canadians) and then you can leave and re-enter. But if you do that a few times countries get suspicious. (For example, in Canada, if a foreigner is admitted for 6 months, then leaves and re-enters at they very end, they will likely be admitted for less than 6 months the next time.)
 
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