Ancestry Visa permits Commonwealth citizens to immigrate to the UK to live and work for a period of 5 years. Prior to 2006, this period was only 4 years. These visa holders are however able to apply for an extension on their 4 year visa. Popularly known as the British Ancestry Visa, this visa is issued if an applicant can prove one or more of their grandparents were born in the UK, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. Successful applicants have the benefit of unrestricted employment opportunities for the full 5 year tenure. On successful completion of the 5 years and the fulfillment of all the essential criteria, Ancestry Visa holders can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residency in the UK. Applicants under the age of 18 or over 65 years must have a good grasp of English language and of life in the UK to obtain ILR approval (Benefits).
UK ancestry visa holders are entitled to the following benefits during their 5 year tenure:
- No requirement to be assessed under points based system. Entry in to the UK for this visa is based solely on family connections.
- No requirement of a prior employment offer. Successful applicants can work and live in the UK without restriction.
- No requirement of a work permit or sponsor.
- Applicants are not required to invest any finances in the UK unlike with the Investor category route.
- No restrictions on the type of employment undertaken during their stay in the UK.
- The opportunity to become a UK citizen through British naturalization. This visa serves as a good route to permanent settlement in the UK.
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