Below we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions our consultants received during the past months. These FAQs will clarify many issues for readers on the Ancestral Visa immigration route.
Ancestral Visa and Brexit
Will the Ancestral and other family routes now fall away with the introduction of the new points-based immigration system, planned by the UK Government?
The good news is that the existing family visa route, UK Ancestral Visa, and Overseas Sole Representative categories all fall outside of a points-based immigration system.
These routes will stay in place and will not be affected by any new points-based immigration system or Brexit. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and we recommend that you contact us if you have any doubts about your immigration status.
Ancestral Visa and when to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain
I entered the UK two months after my five-year ancestral visa was approved in 2015. My visa expires in July 2020. Do I need to apply for an extension of my ancestral visa to complete five years for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or may I apply for indefinite leave to remain straight away?
You do not need to apply for an extension of your ancestral visa. If you have not been out of the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months starting from the grant of your Ancestral visa, you can apply. Therefore, even though you entered late, and provided you have traveled relatively conservatively after that, you should meet the requirements for ILR. You will be eligible to apply for this leave 28 days before the expiry date of your existing visa.
Ancestral Dependants and Indefinite Leave to Remain
The dependants on my Ancestral visa entered the UK at a later stage than myself. When will they qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
One of the biggest advantages of the Ancestral visa is that the dependants can apply for ILR at the same time as the main visa holder, irrespective of how long they have been in the UK. Even if they have only been in the UK on this status for a period shorter than the qualifying period of five years, they can apply. However, once they obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain, they will first have to fulfill the five-year residence period in the UK, before they can apply for British citizenship.
Ability to work on the Ancestral Visa
I am beyond retirement age – does the Home Office have an upper age limit on who may apply?
For a person to qualify for a UK Ancestry visa, you must be aged 17 or over. There is no upper age limit on applicants. However, you will have to show that you can work and that you do intend to take or seek work in the UK. Other than that, your age would not prevent you from applying.
Voluntary work on the Ancestral Visa
Will I be able to meet the Ancestral Visa requirement to work or seek work, by doing voluntary work in the UK?
Yes, the Home Office recently updated its guidance to confirm that voluntary work would qualify. Please note that applicants do also have to show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves in the UK. So, if an applicant does not have any income from UK employment, then this requirement would need to be met/evidenced differently.
English Language Requirement and the Ancestral Visa
Do I need to take an English Language test before applying for the UK Ancestry Visa?
Fortunately, there is no English language requirement attached to an application for a UK Ancestry visa. However, you will have to provide evidence of your English language skills when later applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are certain exemptions, such as being aged 65 or over at the date of that application.
Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.