I am asking this question for a friend who is an Australian citizen. I have read through the eligibility documents and it seems as though she is not eligible to go through the Ancestry Visa route but we just wanted to ensure we've checked every avenue.

In 1926, her British great-grandparents were working in Egypt (they had been posted there by their employer, a British company) and they gave birth to their son who is my friend's grandparent.

Does the simple fact that his birthplace was outside the UK mean she is ineligible despite the fact that he is a British citizen and spent the majority of his life in UK? Or is it potentially more complicated than that?

For instance, we're not sure how his birth was registered, how soon after they returned to their home, etc...is it worth looking into these details as there may be some potential admin loopholes? Or is it a clear cut case?

2 Answers 2


The UK Government is quite clear on the eligibility for the Ancestry visa:

You can apply for a UK Ancestry visa if you:

  1. are a Commonwealth citizen
  2. are applying from outside the UK
  3. are able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK
  4. are able and planning to work in the UK
  5. meet the other eligibility requirements

You must also show that you have a grandparent born in 1 of the following circumstances:

  1. in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

  2. before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland

  3. on a British-registered ship or aircraft

So it would seem that your friend is ineligible since the grandparent was born in Egypt and not the UK (or in Ireland or on a British-registered ship or aircraft).

To apply your friend would need a copy of the grandparent's birth certificate so it would make sense to find or apply for that which should clear up any doubt regarding the registration.

Documents you must provide

the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on

Was the grandparent working for a private company or in Crown service? If the latter then this might change the situation of the grandparent (dependent on the year they were born) as Egypt was a British protectorate.

  • Unfortunately working for a private company. As suspected though. Thank you for your answer!
    – Mel K.
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 14:28

It is very important to find the birth certificate as it could be an enormous help to getting everything sorted. First you need to find the reference details for the certificate you can start by looking here, to see if it was registered when they came back https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8782 - if it was UK registered you can then get a copy from here. https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate If the grandparent was registered at the british consulate at the time of his birth, he would have been issued with a British Consulate Birth certificate (it used to be black print on cream paper, very different from the red and green lined ones for the UK). I was born in British Territory overseas (Germany) and my son was born in Denmark while his father was on active military duty with NATO. He holds a full English passport and my grandchildren will be be entitled to the same, because he was registered through the consulate, in the same way I was. I am aware that there were some issues with a few people who were children of the "British Raj", in India, who were NOT registered via the consulates in India (as their parents were flipping back and forth between the UK and India at the time of their birth) - but the two people I know who had major problems, because of this, were both born 20 years before your grandfather. If he held a British passport as a British citizen, with a UK or British consulate (which counts as UK in most instances) issued Birth Certificate, you should be OK subject to the criteria in @MrAndySweet 's answer

  • I think you will find that your son's grandchildren will be entitled to a British passport because his father was in abroad in the service of the Crown. If he (your son's father) had been working in Denmark because a private company had sent him there, registering the birth at the consulate wouldn't help Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 20:59
  • @Martin Bonner Thank you - That is interesting.
    – Gaile
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 1:26

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