This page explains how Commonwealth citizens with UK ancestry may be able to apply for permission to live and work here.
If you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country and one of your grandparents was born in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), you have UK ancestry.
You can apply to come to the UK in this category if you can show that:
- you are a Commonwealth citizen;
- you are aged 17 or over;
- you have a grandparent who was born in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), or a grandparent who was born before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland;
- you are able to work and you plan to work in the UK; and
- you can adequately support and accommodate yourself and your dependants without help from public funds (see rights and responsibilities for an explanation of this).
If you do not meet these requirements, you will need to apply under one of our other work-based immigration routes in order to come and work here.
Applying from outside the UK
You must obtain permission to enter the UK (known as 'entry clearance') on the basis of your UK ancestry before you travel here. This entry clearance will take the form of a visa or entry clearance certificate - to obtain it, you should apply to the British diplomatic post in the country where you live. For more information, see our visa services website .
If we give you permission to enter and work in the UK because of your UK ancestry, you will be allowed to stay for five years.
Applying from inside the UK
If you have already entered the UK in a different immigration category, you cannot switch into the UK ancestry category. We will only give you permission to stay in the country on the basis of UK ancestry if:
- you entered the UK holding entry clearance based on your UK ancestry; or
- we have already given you permission to stay based on your UK ancestry.
Settling or extending your stay in the UK
If you have lived and worked continuously in the UK for five years in this category, and if you still meet the UK ancestry requirements (see 'Eligibility' above), you can apply to live here permanently. The Settlement section explains how to apply.
If you do not want to settle here, you can apply to extend your stay instead. The Extending your stay section explains how to apply using form FLR(BID).
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- UK Border Agency