If you are a Commonwealth citizen and you have a grandparent who was born in the UK, you may be able to apply for a UK Ancestry visa subject to meeting the eligibility requirements.
The Ancestry visa option is available to you if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a Commonwealth citizens;
- You are applying from outside the UK;
- You are able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK;
- You are able and intend to work in the UK;
- You are 17 or over; and
- You have sufficient funds without needing recourse to public funds to support and accommodate yourself and any dependants in the UK.
As part of the application, you must show that you have a grandparent born in one of the following circumstances:
- a) In the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
- b) Before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
- c) On a British-registered ship or aircraft.
You can claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent:
- a) Were adopted
- b) Were born within or outside marriage in the UK.
It is important to note that UK ancestry cannot be claimed through step-parents.
Advantages of this visa
If you obtain a visa in this category, you would be allowed to:
- Work in the UK without any restrictions for example not limited to the number of hours you are entitled to work;
- Study in the UK at any level;
- Bring family members, such as your spouse and children; and
- Obtain indefinite leave to remain in the UK upon completing 5 years lawful residence in this category.
Disadvantages of this visa
- You cannot switch into this visa category from within the UK if you are already on another visa; and
- You cannot have access to public funds.
A national of New Zealand had come to us for assistance as he was advised that he could not apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK in this category as he was unable to provide evidence which showed that he had been in employment or self-employment in the UK for the full 5 year period. We had advised that there was no requirement for applicants with leave under the UK Ancestry visa category to show that they were continuously employed throughout the 5 year period. The requirement is for them to stay employed at the time of filing of the application or alternatively to show that they were seeking employment.
Further to our advice, our client successfully obtained indefinite leave to remain.
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