If you have a British grandparent and are also a citizen of a Commonwealth country (definition here), you can apply to live and work in the United Kingdom. My friend Suzanne, a Canadian citizen, recently did it and passed the latest rules on to me from the U.K. Home Office:
You can apply to come to the United Kingdom in this category if you can show that:
- You are a Commonwealth citizen;
- You are aged 17 or over;
- You are able to work and you plan to work in the UK; and
- You can adequately support and accommodate yourself and your dependents without help from public funds.
You must also show that at least one of your grandparents was born:
- In the United Kingdom (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man); or
- Before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland; or
- On a British-registered ship or aircraft.
You can claim ancestry if your relationship to the relevant grandparent is in the legitimate or illegitimate line.
You cannot claim U.K. ancestry through step-parents, but you can apply if you or your parent (through whom you are claiming ancestry) are adopted. You must show evidence of the legal adoption with your application form.
If you do not meet these requirements, you must apply under another work-based immigration routes to live and work in the United Kingdom.
After a minimum of five years residence in the United Kingdom (three years if you are married to or a civil partner of a British citizen), you can apply for U.K. citizenship and passport. Since the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union, with a U.K. passport, you can live or work in any of the other 26 EU member states. A U.K. passport is also a superb travel document with visa-free entry to more than 160 countries.
Anyone born or naturalized in a member of the British Commonwealth meets the first requirement of the Ancestry Visa rules. More than 50 nations are Commonwealth members. In two of them, the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, it’s possible to obtain economic citizenship and passport through a donation or investment. The total time required to complete the process and obtain your Commonwealth passport is generally 4-8 months. Total costs for Dominica for a single applicant come to around $100,000; for St. Kitts & Nevis, it’s a minimum of $280,000.
If you would like to work in the United Kingdom with a visa that provides a path to U.K. citizenship, your ancestry qualifies you for the U.K. Ancestry Visa, but you don’t have a Commonwealth passport, The Nestmann Group, Ltd. can help you obtain citizenship and passport from Dominica or St. Kitts & Nevis. Contact us today for a consultation.
Copyright (c) 2012 by Mark Nestmann