The secrets and techniques of the UK Ancestry visa

The UK Ancestry visa is without doubt one of the most versatile immigration routes within the UK. Many South Africans can qualify for this visa by a British-born grandparent. Sable Worldwide discusses some lesser-known intricacies and loopholes of this route.

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What’s the UK Ancestry visa?

The UK Ancestry visa permits Commonwealth residents with a grandparent born within the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, to reside and work within the UK with none restrictions for a five-year interval. Commonwealth nations that qualify embrace South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Dependants on the UK Ancestry route

This visa means that you can carry your dependants with you to the UK. This implies your partner, single companion and any kids beneath 18 who’re included in your visa could have the identical rights as you.

When a household intends to immigrate to the UK collectively, the primary applicant and their dependants might want to apply collectively from outdoors of the UK. The dependants can be part of the primary applicant at a later stage however should make a separate software from outdoors the UK. 

Who’s eligible for a UK Ancestry visa?

You possibly can apply for a UK Ancestry visa should you’re a Commonwealth citizen and are capable of present that one among your grandparents was born:

  • Within the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man or,
  • Earlier than 31 March 1922 in what’s now Eire or,
  • On a ship or plane that was both registered within the UK or belonged to the UK authorities

As well as, you need to be capable to present that:

  • You’re 17 years or older
  • You’ll be able to work and you propose to work or search employment within the UK throughout your visa
  • You possibly can assist and accommodate your self and any dependants with out entry to any public funding

You can even declare ancestry if both you or the related dad or mum had been adopted. You could not, nonetheless, declare UK ancestry by your step-parents.

Whereas visas just like the Partner visa or Expert Employee visa are solely legitimate for an preliminary two-and-a-half-year interval, that means you need to lengthen your visa earlier than you’ll be eligible for indefinite go away to stay, the Ancestry visa is issued for lengthy sufficient to qualify. After spending 5 years within the UK on the Ancestry visa, it is possible for you to to use for indefinite go away to stay (ILR), should you:

  • Have lived within the UK repeatedly for 5 years
  • Haven’t spent greater than 180 consecutive days in another country
  • Move your English language take a look at and Life within the UK Check

After spending an extra 12 months within the UK on ILR, you might apply for UK citizenship by naturalisation and, if profitable, it is possible for you to to get a British passport.

Learn extra: New path to UK residency and citizenship because of a British granny – Sable Worldwide’s Mishal Patel

What are some secrets and techniques of the UK Ancestry route? 

1. Not everybody must fulfill the continual residence requirement 

The continual residence requirement is met when you may have accomplished a five-year interval of lawful and unbroken residence within the UK. You’ll “break” steady residence in case you are out of the UK for greater than 180 days in any 12-month interval – until there are critical and compelling causes. 

In case your UK Ancestry visa was granted earlier than 11 January 2018, then your absences will probably be assessed otherwise. 

Within the UK Ancestry class, solely the primary visa holder must fulfill the continual residence requirement for the aim of ILR. Dependants on this route should not topic to the identical requirement and don’t want to finish 5 years of residence. Which means they’ll spend any period of time outdoors of the UK and nonetheless qualify for indefinite go away to stay when the time for software comes.

2. Part 4L and different claims to citizenship 

As above talked about, a key requirement for the Ancestry visa is to display lineage to a UK-born grandparent. In June 2022, Part 4L of the British Nationality Act 1981 got here into impact which corrected historic injustices equivalent to gender discrimination. Basically, which means that there are individuals who might unknowingly be capable to apply for British citizenship by their ancestry, as an alternative of getting to attend out the remaining time on their Ancestry visa and apply for ILR first.

Uncover should you qualify for British citizenship by your heritage. Take our free British citizenship evaluation.

Whereas Part 4L in addition to different routes to citizenship like Part 4C might provide the primary applicant an possibility for rapid nationality, this may increasingly open the door of many advantages to your dependents additionally. For those who grew to become a British citizen whereas holding a UK Ancestry visa, then your kids might also be eligible for British citizenship and your partner or companion might qualify for ILR instantly.

3. You will get expedited UK citizenship for dependants

It’s potential for spouses/companions and youngsters who’re dependents beneath the UK ancestry visa to acquire indefinite go away to stay instantly after the primary applicant turns into a British citizen by an alternate route. Moreover, dependent kids might also have a path to British citizenship. You will need to notice that it will solely work if the primary applicant turns into a British or settled particular person while they had been holding a UK ancestry visa. 

Earlier than embarking on any software for British citizenship, we urge you to debate your case with one among our consultants as there as there are elements you will want to contemplate in your dependants.

4. What if my partner or companion is on a unique visa class? 

It’s potential to use as a “dependant” of a UK Ancestry visa holder in case you are within the UK by yourself visa beneath a unique visa class. In case you are a partner or single companion to somebody who’s within the UK with a UK ancestry visa that can shortly be eligible for indefinite go away to stay, you would qualify for ILR with them – regardless of how lengthy you may have been within the UK for.

The loophole right here is that you simply don’t have to modify into the UK Ancestry visa class to be thought of a dependant. So long as you meet the connection standards and definition of a partner or companion, when your partner or companion applies for ILR, you may be included on their software.

A sensible instance of this could be if Emily is already within the UK for a 12 months on a Expert Employee visa however her husband, James is nearing the five-year mark on his Ancestry visa. As a result of they’re married, Emily meets the required definition of a partner. James will be capable to embrace her as a dependant on his ILR software and Emily received’t need to fulfil her five-year steady residence requirement for ILR.

You will need to notice that this isn’t potential for people who find themselves within the UK as guests or have been granted permission to remain for lower than six months.

For those who assume you might be eligible for an Ancestry visa, get in contact with us on [email protected] or give us a name on +27 (0) 21 657 2180.

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