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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am a Canadian citizen looking into an ancestry visa for the

Resolved Question:

I am a Canadian citizen looking into an ancestry visa for the UK. My grandmother's family was British, but were on a short trip to Canada when she was born. Her family returned to the UK, when my grandmother was only 3 months old, where she grew up until she emigrated to Canada at the age of 16. Is it still possible for me to claim ancestry, since she was technically born in Canada? She had a British passport and citizenship.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your question.

The eligibility requirements for an ancestry visa are contained at s186 of the Immigration Rules (as you may or may not know):-
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/immigrationlaw/immigrationrules/part5/

You will see that it is a requirement at 186(iii) that the grandparent should have been born in the UK. Note there is a difference here in that it does not say that the requirement is that a grandparent “should be a UK citizen”. I regret to say that that the UKBA is likely to be strict in interpreting this and would in all probability reject your application on this basis and would be entitled to do so on the basis of the Immigration Rules as presently drafted.

I would certainly agree that it is particularly harsh in that it was a very small window in which her family was not in the UK, but they UKBA (knowing them as I do) would nevertheless by unsentimental and reject on this basis.

You may be able to appeal the decision but their argument is that the law is the law and your application should be refused. Judge’s are permitted to exercise their discretion to an extent but they are not to be law makers and were the judge to rule in your favour I believe that they would be crossing in to law making territory and for this reason I would not be at all obtismistic of your chances even on appeal. It would also be expensive to appeal.

I am very sorry that it could not be better news. If you make the application you would be relying on the UKBA being sympathetic and exercising their discretion to grant leave to remain outside of the immigration rules. They are permitted to do this, but are generally very reluctant to do so.
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Kind regards,


Tom
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