As many of our clients may know, the UK Ancestry visa allows applicants to come and work in the UK for up to 5 years. After living in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, it is possible to gain permanent residence in the UK if all requirements under that category are met.
The eligibility requirements for the UK Ancestry visa are the following:
- Being a national of a Commonwealth country;
- Having a grandparent (either grandfather or grandmother) born in the UK or Islands;
- Being of good character;
- Intending to work or seek employment (including unpaid work or voluntary work) in the UK;
- Being able to maintain and accommodate themselves in the UK adequately.
Those who are 17 years of age can also apply for a UK Ancestry visa but will need their parent’s or guardian’s consent to lodge the application.
The UK Ancestry visa allows one to work freely in the UK: it is possible to be in full-time or part-time employment or to establish self-employment activities. It is also possible to sponsor immediate family members, such as partners and children under the age of 18.
Historical UK Ancestry for ILR
It is also important to notice that, further to a recent change in the law, there is no requirement for the applicant’s most recent grant of permission to have been on the UK Ancestry route if they want to apply for indefinite leave to remain. This means that if someone has been in the UK on a UK Ancestry visa for a continuous period of 5 years in the past, they could rely on that earlier 5-year period of permission in order to qualify for settlement, even if they have since been granted permission on another route.
Example of Historical UK Ancestry for ILR
For example, one of our clients entered the UK in 2012 with a UK Ancestry route valid from 2012 until 2017. Unfortunately, the client was not able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in 2017, as he did not have the financial means to pay for the application and became an overstayer. Several years later, he was granted a visa under a different immigration category. We then lodged a settlement application based on his historical permission under the UK Ancestry leave, and the client was successfully issued with indefinite leave to remain. The client had to prove that he had worked in the UK during the 5-year period while he was in the UK with the UK ancestry visa and has complied with the other requirements (residence, good character, knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, etc.).
How Breytenbachs can assist you with your Historical UK Ancestry for ILR
As the matter may not be straightforward, we advise you to contact our offices for further information and assistance.