Work Visa Requirements for Person with UK Ancestry seeking Work or a Person seeking Entry as a Foreign Government Employee or Affiliated with a Religious Organization


The ‘visa’ is a document that serves as legal proof for a person’s entry into a country. With relation to securing a visa for entry into the UK, a certain process defined by the immigration laws of the country must be followed. The process varies depending on the reason the person wishes to seek entry, with each visa category existing for a different reason of entry.

In relation to the work visa of the UK, the process is defined in the UK Immigration Rules. The work visa is a general term used to describe entry into the country for purposes of work, where the period of stay can range from being temporary to permanent depending on the applicant’s case. In actuality, entry into the country spans several visa categories such as the t1 entrepreneur visa, t1 graduate entrepreneur visa, t1 exceptional talent visa, t1 general visa, t5 temporary worker, t1 UK investor visa scheme visa etc. (here t1 and t5 refers to Tier 1 and Tier 5 respectively). All of these categories differ in their requirements and process, and are treated differently by the Home Office, which is the department of the UK government responsible for handling visa cases.

The following blog takes an in-depth look at several categories in relation to entry into the UK for work purposes, by going into detail about the requirements that must be met as such to be eligible.

Requirements to be met by any Person with UK Ancestry seeking Work in UK:

Any person who has ancestry in the United Kingdom, but is a non-UK national looking to come to the country for purposes of work will need to meet the below mentioned requirements to be eligible for the visa:

  • The worker must be a citizen of the Commonwealth;
  • The age of the worker must be 17 or greater than that;
  • Significant proof must be provided by the worker proving that a grandparent of his/her held nationality of the UK;
  • The worker must have a blood relation to the grandparent who held nationality of the UK and significant evidence in relation to this fact must be submitted in the visa application;
  • The worker must provide the intention that he/she wishes to enter the UK for purposes of work;
  • The worker provide proof of being in possession of significant finances to pay for his/her accommodation along with other expenses while in the UK;
  • The worker must state that he/she will not retract to asking money from public funds of the UK;
  • The worker must have applied for, or be in possession of the relevant entry clearance document that must be shown to an Immigration Officer upon arrival in the country;

If the above mentioned requirements are adequately met by the worker, and his/her visa application is accepted by the Home Office, the temporary period of stay that is granted in this regard is 5 years maximum. In this regard, the entry clearance document must be kept during travel to the country to be shown upon arrival.

In the scenario where the above mentioned requirements cannot be met by the worker or an entry clearance document cannot be produced upon arrival, entry into the country will be refused.

Where the above mentioned criterion granted the worker initial stay into the country for a limited period of time, an extension can be granted once the initial period has expired if the below mentioned requirements are met.

Requirements to be met by any Person with UK Ancestry seeking Extension for Work:

  • The conditions that were set by the Home Office on the worker’s previous visa that was granted for this purpose, must have been fulfilled by the worker;
  • The worker has not violated any of the laws of the UK during his/her stay during this period;
  • No immigration laws must have been broken during the stay. However, in the scenario the worker stayed in the UK past the due date he/she was supposed to leave but this overstay was less than 28 days, this will not count as a breach of the immigration laws. This is due to the UK allowing foreigners to make adequate travel arrangements or deal with unforeseen circumstances that could not be entertained within the allotted time period;

In the scenario the above mentioned requirements are adequately met by the worker, an extension for a maximum time period of 5 years is granted for purposes of work. However, if the above mentioned requirements are not met or the Home Office is not satisfied with the visa application for extension, the request for an extension can be refused.

Requirements to be met by any Person with UK Ancestry seeking Permanent Residency for Work:

  • The worker who is applying, must have followed the conditions that were set in his/her previous visa application;
  • The worker must currently be residing in the UK;
  • The worker must have legally spent a minimum of 5 years in the UK on this visa category, where this 5 year period must have been consistent and in accordance with UK regulations. The Home Office will take into account the worker’s travel history during this time;
  • The worker must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and meet the relevant language standard that is required in this category. The language requirement can be fulfilled by giving a language test that is recognized by the UK;
  • The Home Office will assess whether the worker has sufficient knowledge regarding life in the UK and can assimilate him/herself in the country;
  • The worker must not fall on any of the laws listed in Part 9 of the UK Immigration Rules detailing general grounds for refusal of a visa application;
  • No immigration laws must have been broken during the stay. However, in the scenario the worker stayed in the UK past the due date he/she was supposed to leave but this overstay was less than 28 days, this will not count as a breach of the immigration laws. This is due to the UK allowing foreigners to make adequate travel arrangements or deal with unforeseen circumstances that could not be entertained within the allotted time period;
  • Any absences from the place of work must have a valid reason, and evidence to support this statement must be provided for every absence taken by the worker in this regard. Furthermore, a written statement in this regard must be provided with relevant documents such as medical reports or death certificates attached;

In the scenario the above mentioned requirements cannot be adequately met, and the Home Office is not satisfied with the visa application in this regard, UK nationality under this visa category can be refused.

Requirements to be met by any Person seeking entry in UK as a Foreign Government Employee 

The requirements that must be met for any person seeking entry under this category are the same as for people with UK ancestry that has been described above.

Requirements for People who are affiliated with a Religious Organization to enter the UK for related Work

  • The worker should be a minister of religion, which is categorized by UK law as a person who leads a religious group in its workings and congregations, along with overlooking any functions of the faith in relation to preaching; or
  • The worker should be a missionary being sent to the UK by a religious organization to preach the doctrine of his/her religion; or
  • The worker should be a member of an order or an organization that is based in the UK and religious in nature.

Requirements to be met by the Partner of any Person who has been granted Entry into the UK

In the scenario where a person wishes to join his/her partner who has been given permission to temporarily stay in the UK, the below listed requirements must be met:

  • The nature of the relationship must be as such whereas the partner is the spouse, unmarried partner, same-sex partner or the civil partner of the person who has been granted entry;
  • The partner must not fall on any of the laws listed in Part 9 of the UK Immigration Rules detailing general grounds for refusal of a visa application;
  • The couple must not be relatives of one another to an extent where the relationship becomes illegal under UK law;
  • Both the person and his/her partner must be older than age 18;
  • No other relationships of both the person and his/her partner must exist;
  • The partner must have applied for, or be in possession of the relevant entry clearance document that must be shown to an Immigration Officer upon arrival in the country;
  • In the case of a couple who are not married, but are in a relationship akin to marriage, they must have been together for a period equivalent to or greater than 2 years;
  • The couple must have enough to support their stay in the UK considering accommodation and other living expenses, along with meeting the expenses for any dependants joining the person or his/her partner, without dependence on public funds;
  • Both the person and his/her partner must intend to stay with each other permanently;
  • The couple must not intend to stay past the legal period of stay allotted to them;

In the scenario where the requirements are fulfilled by the partner and he/she is granted a visa to enter the UK under these circumstances, the period of stay that will be allotted will not be greater than the period of stay granted to his/her partner. It should be noted that the partner must be in possession of an entry clearance document upon arrival in the UK to be shown to a government official of the UK. In the scenario where the partner is unable to produce an entry clearance document under these circumstances, entry into the country can be refused.

In the scenario where the partner of the applicant is staying in the UK on the UK t1 visa (Tier 1 UK investor visa scheme, Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, Tier 1 general visa etc.) the visa granted to the partner will be limited with regards to their choice of work in the UK; such as not being allowed to take employment as a dentist or a doctor without certain regulations.

Furthermore, even if the above requirements are met but the Home Office is not satisfied with the partner’s visa application, entry into the country can still be refused. 

In the scenario where a person wishes to extend his/her stay in the UK under these circumstances, the below listed requirements must be met:

  • The relationship has not broken down during the time period the couple was in the UK;
  • The partner of the applicant, during this time period, became a UK citizen and as such holds the right to permanent residency in the UK;
  • No immigration laws must have been broken during the stay.

Under these circumstances for request of extension, the time period for further stay that can be granted if the visa application is accepted, will not be greater than 2 years. Furthermore, the same conditions for partners of UK t1 visa (t1 investor visa UK immigration, t1 entrepreneur visa, t1 general visa etc.) migrants apply regarding employment opportunity in the UK.

In the scenario where a person wishes to join his/her partner permanently in the UK and the partner holds UK nationality, then the same rules that applied above in the requirements for extensions section applies here.