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UK_Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 2458
Experience:  I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
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Query regarding UK ancestry visa/citizenship: I am a Canadian

Customer Question

Query regarding UK ancestry visa/citizenship:

I am a Canadian citizen, born in 1977. My parents were both born in Canada in 1938. Although I don't have any paperwork yet, I know my grandparents were born in Britain and Northern Ireland.

Does this qualify me for British citizenship via the British Subject category?

If so, what documents do I need to gather, and what forms do I need to complete?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hi thank you for your question. Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE so I can get credited for my time.

You can apply to come to the UK on a ancestry visa 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 dependants without help from public funds.

You must also show that at least 1 of your grandparents was born:

• in the UK (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 should include as many documents as possible to show that you qualify for entry to the UK through UK ancestry. As a guide, you should include:

• your full birth certificate
• your parents' and grandparents' marriage certificates, and legal adoption papers if you or your parents are adopted
• the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent through whose ancestry you are applying
• your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document, if your husband, wife or civil partner intends to join you in the UK

To apply for the visa you must use for VAF2, the forms and the guidance can be found at the following link:

You must try and obtain all the original documents mentioned to be able to apply under this visa category.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to reply. I hope this answers your question if so kindly rate my answer positively so I can get credited for my time. If however you feel that the answer does not cover all the points raised in your question please DO NOT rate my answer negatively I will be happy to answer further question until you are satisfied with my answer.

Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, so that would get me a 5 year visa, right?


What about citizenship via the British Subject route?

Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.

1. Yes you will be give a 5 years visa under this route.

2. In some circumstances, British subjects are able to register as British citizens. In your case because you are a Canadian Citizen, I do not think you qualify under the British Subject route.

The rules about British subject status changed in 1949 and again in 1983, so those dates are important when deciding if someone is a British subject.

Until 1949, nearly everyone with a close connection to the United Kingdom was called a British subject. And all citizens of Commonwealth countries were British subjects until January 1983. Since that date, very few categories of people have qualified as British subjects.
You became a British subject on 1 January 1983 if, up to that date, you were:

• a British subject without citizenship, which means you were a British subject on 31 December 1948 who did not become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, a citizen of a Commonwealth country, a citizen of Pakistan, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland;

• a person who had been a citizen of Eire and a British subject on 31 December 1948 and had made a claim to remain a British subject; or
• a woman who had registered as a British subject on the basis of your marriage to a man who was in one of the two categories above.

If you are a citizen of the Republic of Ireland who was born before 1 January 1949 and you did not make a claim to remain a British subject, as above, you may do so in certain circumstances.

British subjects normally cannot pass on that status to their children if the children were born after 1 January 1983. But a child may be a British subject in certain circumstances.

A person who is stateless may be able to register as a British subject in certain circumstances.

Since 1 January 1983, a person who gains citizenship of any other country can no longer be a British subject. However, this does not apply to a citizen of the Republic of Ireland who has made a claim to remain a British subject as explained above.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

<Sigh> I hate to have to call you on this, but really. When I submitted my question, I asked for a high level of detail.


So far, all you have done is to copy and paste from these two pages of the UK Border Agency website:


Ironically, those pages have more details in them than what you offered me!


Considering I already read those pages on my own for free, I wonder if you actually can offer me an answer to my question, given the details I already provided to you?


So far, you haven't earned a penny.

Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.

1. The information provided in what is required under the ancestry visa which you inquired about, had you read the pages you would have not inquired about what forms you need to fill in and what documents you need to submit. I have provided you information on both those points. I believe you are able to apply under the ancestry rules.

I have also informed you that your visa ( should you obtain it) will be valid for 5 years.

2. You asked whether you met the requirements for applying under a British Subject, I have also answered this question by stating that you are unable to do so as you are already a Canadian national.

With all due respect I believe that I have answered both your questions. Considering I have clarified the above for you , I do believe that I have answered the questions you required.

Should you required any further information in any particular point, I will be more than happy to provide this to you.

Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Copy and pasting information from a government website which I have already read on my own for free, does not constitute an answer.

My question arose because the government pages are generic and do not address my particular situation. I expected that an "expert", when given my particulars, could give me a personalized answer based on their experience.

When pressed, this "expert" offered a one-line opinion, with no reasoning to back it up; just copy and pasted info.

I would like to give someone else a crack at it now.

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