Our expert, Stephen Atkinson, Visa Manager at 1st Contact, tackles your questions.

Q I arrived in the UK from Australia in July 2004 on an ancestry visa, and stayed until 2008. I also lived in Canada for a year, where I reapplied for my ancestry visa. I also have a common law partner who is in the UK as a dependent on my ancestry visa.

We have been living in the UK again since April and would now like to apply to get a British passport. What are the requirements and is this possible?

A Unfortunately due to your year’s absence from the UK while you were resident in Canada, you will not be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), commonly referred to as permanent residency, until you have completed five continuous years of residence in the UK under ancestry conditions.

To qualify for ILR, you must not have been outside the UK for more than six months in total over the five years in question, and specifically for no longer than 3 months consecutively. Only once you have resided in the UK with ILR status for the requisite period thereafter (currently 12 months) can you apply for British citizenship.


For more, visit 1st Contact. To ask a question about getting started or moving on, email realitycheck@tntmagazine.com