How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Type Your UK Immigration Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife and I arrived in the UK in 2008 on Ancestral Visas

This answer was rated:

My wife and I arrived in the UK in 2008 on Ancestral Visas as my mother was born in the UK. I became a British citizen last year on change in the Law entitling me to become a British citizen through my mother. My wife is South African. We are just completing UK Border Agency FORM AN for her application for naturalisation as a British citizen as we have both now been resident in the UK for 3 years.

question on Item 1.3

I would like to send you a copy of my wife's Entry Visa? This was given to her when I applied for an Ancestral visa to the UK in 2008 on the basis of ancestry. My wifes entry visa says...

UK Entry Clearance
No of Entries........MULT

It does have an expiry though of 03/03/2012. As far as I am aware this visa is 'automatically renewable.

Nowhere does the Visa say it was granted on the basis of my ancestry.

I would like to know if this qualifies for Item 1.3 of Form AN

Item 1.22 of Form AN

My wife completed and passed the IELTS exam. Does this satisfy Item 1.22?



Your wife has not applied for and obtained indefinite leave to remain. Is this correct?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

That is correct




I'm afraid that her situation is not as simple as you think, I regret to say.

In order for a person to be eligible for naturalisation as a UK citizen.You can see it on this page ("Immigration Time Restrictions"):-

This means that a person wishing to apply must have first obtained indefinite leave to remain. If your wife does not presently have this then there is no possibility of a successful application.


Furthermore, he situation is complicated by the fact that her current visa has expired. If she had attained 5 continuous years in that category then she could apply for ILR. Because it expired more than 28 days ago she is technically classed as an overstayer. She should have made an application to extend it or to switch in to a spouse visa category before it expired I'm afrad.


The quicker possible way for her to now obtain ILR would be to complete two years in a spouse visa category. Overstays are not grounds for refusal in the case of marriage applications.


She can attempt to do this by making an application in country for a spouses visa by using form FLR(M) but the UKBA come down on overstayers like a ton of bricks and the likelihood is that they will say that she needs to return to SA and make an application from there by Form VAF4. They only permit make in courty applications in exceptional circumstances (ie. where to not do would prejudicially affect the health of the applicant or their family)


I'm very sorry it could not be better news.


I hope this helps, if so please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.


Kind regards,



Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks Tom. My wife's visa expires in 03/03/2012 NOT 2011 this year so she is not an overstayer. I will pursue her indefinite leave to remain.


Can you give me a comment on Item 1.22 above as well?





Oh, that's. I read it incorrectly, sorry.

She should extend her visa so that she completes 5 years in that category and then apply for ILR.


The ILETS is the english language course. She will still have to pass the life in the uk test in order to be eligible for naturalisation.

Thanks for your kind accept.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.



I have just read the website you directed me to above. I had read it before. There are seven requirements and to my reading my wife meets all the requirements.....except the knowledge of life in the UK which you have now answered above. The section headed Meeting Residential Requirements is the one which I am seeking guidance on. To comply with that you need to.....

....have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years (my wife will have met these requirements on 30 April)

.....without being in breach.......


In essence I believe my wife can comply with all the requirements.


It does not say anything about having been granted ILR in advance etc etc?


Appreciate your response.







It says that the person applying for naturalisation must be free of immigration time restrictions. This is another way of saying you must have indefinite leave to remain.


Your wife will have to meet the standard requirements on the following page:-

The reduced 3 years requirement is only for persons who were here on spouses visa. Your wife was on an ancestry visa and must therefore apply under the standard requirement I'm afraid.


Kind regards,


Related UK Immigration Law Questions