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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7602
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi. My wife & I moved from South-Africa to the UK on an

Resolved Question:

Hi. My wife & I moved from South-Africa to the UK on an ancestrial visa on 14/05/2008. I descovered that the law had changed in 2009 for people who were born before 1983 from a UK mother. Since then I have appleid for citazenship using the UKM form. The application was succesfull. Now I need to apply for my wifes citazenship but I am not sure if I have to apply for ILR first or can we just go ahead & apply for her to be naturalized as a UK citazen seing that we have been settled in the country longer than three years. In total we have only been out of the country for thirty days in. Also the ancestrial visa she is on at the moment expires on the 04/01/2012. I will highly apreciate it if you could be of assistance in this matter. Regards Franz
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.


Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-

  • 1. Once you obtained UK citizenship did your wife switch to a spouse visa or did she remain on her Ancestry dependent visa?

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Tom


She remaned on her Ancestry dependent visa

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Hi Frank

I will be able to answer in an hour or so


Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Hi Franz, .

Sorry for the delay.

A person must be free of immigration time restrictions before they apply for naturalisation as a UK citizen. This means that they must hold ILR in order to apply.
If she has not switched to a spouse to a spouse visa and spent two years in that category then, in my view, she will have to meet the requirement of 5 years legal leave to remain in the UK before she is able to apply for settlement (as per the rules on ancestry visas).

The difficult is that she will not have reached 5 years residency when her current ancestry dependent visa expires. This means that her leave to remain must be extended in order to afford her the ability to reach the 5 year period. She cannot apply for an extension of her ancestry dependent visa because you are no longer here on the basis of ancestry, you are here on the basis of your UK citizenship.

This means that she will have to switch to a spouse visa. If the application is well prepared and you meet the following eligibility criteria then it will make the application easy and quick to decide upon for the UKBA. To be eligible, you must show:-

• 1. That you are legally married to each other (marriage certificate)
• 2. You are present and settled in the UK (eg. Passport, proof of accommodation)
• 3. You intend to live permanently together here in the UK as husband and wife (statements, evidence of her (statements, correspondence(
• 4. You can support each other without the need for public funds (bank statements, evidence of income)
• 5. You have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds (tenancy agreement, land registry docs if you your own home)
• 6. That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)

You have to produce to the UKBA documentation that proves the above. This would be some of the following:-
• Bank statements from both you and your wife going back 6 months showing the income/capital you have available
• Payslips (6 month of) and a letter from your employer stating that you have a permanent job, contract of employment
• Documentary evidence of any other assets you hold (eg. Shares, evidence of ISAs or bonds)
• Marriage certificate, Birth Certificate, passport
• Evidence of correspondence between you and your wife showing that the relationship is credible and genuine (eg. Emails, letters, evidence of previous trips, photos showing you together, phone records
• Evidence of the accommodation where you will live (ie. land registry officials copies of the property that you own, mortgage documentation, copy tenancy agreement if you rent, council tax statements, house report by a solicitor, letter from landlord confirm he is happy to give you a further tenancy agreement
• Evidence that she can speak English:
• She should also provide evidence of her employment

You will need to apply for settlement (ie. spouses visa) by using form FLR(M) Settlement, available for download from UKBA's website.

This is obviously a convoluted way around her present position but I cannot see any other way unfortunately.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the information. I have one more qeustion.


My son was born in the UK last year August (Inverness Scotland). My status was still South-African at the time. Seing that I have British citazenship now I want to know if I can just go ahead & apply for his British passport. When we went on holiday back to SA in April we aquired a SA passport for him. He also has a dependant ancestrial visa that expires on 04/01/2012. I didn't want to take chances when returning to the UK.

Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

I will answer in the morning
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

If your son was born in the UK but you then subsequently became settled here (ie. by virtue of your UK passport) then you can apply to have him registered as a UK citizen. Thereafter, you can apply for a passport on his behalf.

Trust this clarifies, please click accept.

Kind regards,

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