Our most recent blogs have tended to focus on BREXIT and so by way of a change we are going to look at UK Ancestry. It is worth considering this immigration route again because new guidance was issued by the Home Office on the 6th of November 2019 and can be found here
It is perhaps useful to have a look at the requirements of the immigration rules as they relate to UK ancestry.
These are set out in Part 5 of the Immigration Rules at paragraph 186 to 193.
In order to enter the UK on this basis an applicant needs to demonstrate that:
They are a Commonwealth citizen.
They are age 17 or over.
They are able to provide proof that one of their grandparents was born in the UK and Islands and that any such grandparent is their blood grandparent or grandparent by reason of adoption recognised by the laws of the United Kingdom relating to adoption.
They are able to work and intend to take or seek employment in the United Kingdom.
They will be able to maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.
They hold a valid United Kingdom entry clearance for entry in this capacity.
If the application is successful then the applicant leave to enter the United Kingdom will be issued for a period of five years. At the end of five years, they will be able to apply for indefinite leave provided all of the above requirements are met again and the applicant has passed the relevant English language test and Life in the UK test.
Whilst the guidance does not change the Rules it introduces some interesting changes to how the rules will be interpreted by decision makers.
In this blog we pick out some of the new changes in the policy.
The guidance clarifies that there is no upper age limit to applying under this category. However it underlines the fact that the applicant must be able to and intend to take or seek employment. Therefore a very elderly applicant would still need to be able to produce evidence of their ability and intention to take or seek employment.
The guidance also details what is meant by a grandparent who was born in the UK and Islands by detailing what is meant by the Channel Islands and those grandparents who may have been born on a UK registered ship or aircraft. As detailed in the Immigration Rules, it is possible to apply under this rule where you are the adopted grandchild of a person born in the UK and Islands.
One trap that unrepresented applicants may fall into is this. Applicants who have made a successful first application under this route may be of the view that since it has already been accepted that they have a UK born grandparent, they do not need to prove this fact again when they come to apply for an extension or indefinite leave to remain. Not so. The guidance is very clear: “the applicant must submit relevant evidence with each application they make in this category. You must not rely on a previous grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as evidence that a person satisfies the UK – born grandparent requirement.”
It is very important therefore that you maintain evidence of your relationship to the UK born grandparent in order to submit this with every application made under the UK Ancestry Rules.
A helpful clarification in the guidance is that voluntary work is accepted as evidence of ability and intention to work.
At Drummond Miller we would be more than happy to assist you with these applications and our solicitors have extensive experience in this field.