08 April 2010

Work without restriction on a UK Ancestry Visa

Eligible Commonwealth citizens able to live in the UK for five years and move towards British Citizenship

Joint history and immigration ties between the UK and Commonwealth countries mean that many people from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa may be eligible to migrate to the UK under a special visa category. 

The UK Ancestry Visa allows citizens from Australia and other Commonwealth countries with a grandparent born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, to live and work in the UK for up to five years, with the ability to later apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and hereafter for UK Citizenship.  

Efficient processing times through the UK Visa Bureau may also mean those eligible will be able to move and commence work in the UK sooner than expected, UK Migration Case Work Manager Marissa Murdock said. 

“UK Ancestry Visa applications through the UK Visa Bureau can expect processing times of approximately two to three weeks and potentially only a further 10 working days for approval.” 

“Once approved, the holder will be able to live and work in the UK unrestricted for five years from their intended entry date,” Miss Murdock said.  

As a UK Ancestry Visa is based on familial ties, and not based on the UK Immigration points system, candidates do not have to pass a points assessment.

Rather, applicants must be able to show they have at least one grandparent, either natural or adopted, that was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.  

UK Ancestry Visa holders are able to take up employment or self-employment freely and leave and re-enter the UK unrestricted. Miss Murdock said the majority of applicants for an Ancestry Visa are normally made offshore although there was increasing numbers of Ancestry Visa holders applying onshore in the UK to extend their stay.  

After five years in the UK an Ancestry Visa holder may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, which entitles them to live in the UK for as long as they wish, and then later UK Citizenship provided they continue to meet the UK Immigration requirements and have not spent long periods of time outside of the country.  

To be eligible for a UK Ancestry Visa you must be able to show that:

  • You are a Commonwealth citizen;
  • You are aged 17 or over;
  • You have a grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man OR you have a grandparent who was born in what is now the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922;
  • You are able to work and intend to do so in the UK; AND
  • You can support yourself and any dependants without needing any help from public funds.

 Those interested in applying for a UK Ancestry Visa are advised to go to the UK Visa Bureau website.  

ENDS  

About UK Visa Bureau

UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration advisory company specialising in visas and immigration to the UK. Based in central London, the company offers a range of services and free online assessments for individuals and families considering a new life abroad, as well as assistance for businesses wanting to hire migrants through the Employer Sponsorship Licence system.


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