There are many pathways to residency in the UK and with the Brexit saga in full swing, many may be wondering what options there are to reside and work in the UK post-Brexit.  For those seeking to relocate to the UK from outside the European Union, Brexit offers more opportunities for emigration to the UK as every non-UK national will likely to be on equal footing when their visa applications are being assessed.  In this series we will be looking at what avenues are available to a person seeking to relocate to the UK post-Brexit, starting with the Ancestry visa and working our way up to the Tier 1 Work visa.

A UK Ancestry visa is a 5-year visa that may be issued to a commonwealth citizen on an application if he or she meets the requirements. Although Zimbabwe is not a member of the Commonwealth the UK still accepts applications from Zimbabweans.  For one to qualify under this visa they need to be able to prove that he or she has a grandparent that was born in either, the UK, Channel Islands or Guernsey, or in the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922 or on a British registered ship or aircraft.  Many of us reading this whose grandparent was born during British rule will be disappointed to note that British colonies do not qualify as being born in the United Kingdom.  However, it does not affect your eligibility for the visa if either of your grandparents were born out of wedlock or if one is an adopted grandchild.

Once you have met the above key requirement the rest of the requirements are less challenging. You would need to be over the age of 17, have enough funds to support and provide for your accommodation and any of your dependents without the help from public funds. You also need to be able to work and plan on working once in the UK.  A TB clearance certificate is also required.

The earliest that one can apply for the visa is 3 months before you intend to travel, and the application will be processed within 3 weeks.  Once you have settled in the UK for a minimum of 5 years you may be eligible to settle in the UK permanently.  Most importantly the Ancestry visa allows the holder to work or study. Your dependent children will also be allowed to study, and your spouse is allowed to work.

Post-Brexit it does not look like there will be any significant changes to this residency pathway. So it will remain a viable option well into the future where the UK is no longer part of the European Union. 

For assistance with your immigration matter, you can contact us at our offices and speak to one of our specialists.

Munyaradzi Nkomo

Lead Immigration Specialist at Strategies Migration Services SA

Email: or

Cell: +2774 337 0269

Tel: +2711 463 5011