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I used to live in the UK under an Ancestry visa (NZ passport holder). My visa has not expired, but I no longer live in the UK. I wish to visit the UK (for tourism), but I am concerned that I would no longer meet the terms of the visa if I enter with the Ancestry visa (specifically "can and plan to work in the UK").

What is the best course of action to follow? Do I need to ask upon landing to be admitted under different rules, apply to have the visa cancelled, or apply for a visit visa?

(Note, this is slightly hypothetical, in that I am still living and working in the UK at this point, but I expect to leave before the expiry of the visa.)

NB: according to https://www.gov.uk/ancestry-visa/eligibility, to be eligible for an Ancestry visa one must, among other things, "can and plan to work in the UK".

  • and you would plan to re-enter the UK before the expiry of the visa too? – Newton Oct 19 '17 at 11:34
  • Yes, so enter while holding a visa, but not wanting to be bound by some of the terms of that visa. The visa would not be required in the future either, but obviously I wouldn't want any adverse immigration history. – walter Oct 19 '17 at 11:42
  • Have you tried asking at a UK consulate about having the ancestry visa cancelled? If so, what did they tell you? – phoog Oct 19 '17 at 21:02
  • @phoog, I have not, but at the moment I actually need the visa, and wouldn't want them to be overly eager to help. Though in my experience from applying for the visa, they are just likely to refer me to some premium-rate phone number. – walter Oct 20 '17 at 7:07
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NZ passport holders can visit the UK for up to 6 months without a visa. This should cover your tourism needs. Immigration would want to be satisfied that you don't intend to work etc when you re enter. Edit: depending on your circumstances you may want to become a dual citizen, which is allowed by both UK and NZ.

  • My concern is that I would have a visa in my passport that requires me to want to work, but I would be visiting and not wanting to work. How can I reconcile those? Of course if I didn't have the visa, then I could enter on my NZ passport for 6 months visa-free. – walter Oct 19 '17 at 14:55
  • I wish I had a solid answer for that. I hope you at least enjoy the irony that so many people want a visa permitting work in the UK, while you have one and it's a real nuisance for you. – user16259 Oct 19 '17 at 15:19
  • Yes, the irony is fun. Well, as it is I'm still working, and there is no problem. But this is a question that has me curious, and I'm sure it must apply to others as well. – walter Oct 19 '17 at 15:24
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The "can" and "plan" parts are conditions for the issuing of the visa. You are not violating the terms of the visa if you change your plans, only if you become unable to support yourself. If you can show sufficient funds to support your tourism, you should be allowed to enter. UK Immigration are quite used to Kiwis who had a British grandparent showing up and working short term jobs interleaved with long European holidays.

If you are still concerned, you can document the "can" part with a letter from your current employer saying how long you worked for them. The "plan" part is harder to document, as evidenced by the fact that they did not ask you for documents to support your intention when you applied! If they make looking for work a condition of entry, which seems highly unlikely, then you can always promise to apply for jobs once they let you in.

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