Australians with a UK-born grandparent will retain the right to live and work in Britain but visa conditions may be changed. The British High Commission says the UK government has decided not to scrap ancestry visas as proposed earlier in the year. Under the existing rules, Commonwealth citizens aged 17 and over can be granted residency if they can prove that one of their grandparents was born in Britain. Those awarded visas are allowed to work and then apply for citizenship after five years of residence.
The British government in February called for a debate over whether the UK ancestry route should be abolished. British high commissioner to Australia Helen Liddell today said the visas would be retained as a route to UK citizenship. "Ancestry visas are a tangible sign of our close, shared history. They give Australians a glimpse of their heritage and a gateway to one of the world's most innovative economies," Ms Liddell said in a statement. "Full details on how ancestry visas will work in the future are yet to be announced. For the time being, the current rules apply."
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