I'm currently in the UK and 3.5 years through the duration of my Ancestry Visa. I am employed full time as a web designer and have been since approx. 8 months after my visa was issued.

I now have an opportunity to relocate to somewhere much cheaper to live and I am quite keen to investigate options which would give me time to pursue my other interests, which is the ideal.

I would like to know if freelancing/self-employment or part time work would be satisfactory to fulfil the working requirements of the visa in order to either renew for another 5 years or apply for ILR, as I want to stay in the UK permanently.

I have checked the .gov website and the visa requirements document isnt so specific as to say whether there is a minimum number of hours that would be needed to work, or if self employment is an option. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge that could shed a little more light on this for me?

1 Answer 1


As far as I am aware there is no strict requirements on working throughout the 5 years.

If you look at the ILR application form SET(O), the only specific requirements for Ancestry applicants relating to work is that you must supply (Page 77):

Document(s) showing that you are able to work and intend to take or seek employment in the UK.

Furthermore the immigration rules are similar in that they state:

Indefinite leave to remain on the grounds of United Kingdom ancestry

192.Indefinite leave to remain may be granted, on application, to a Commonwealth citizen with a United Kingdom born grandparent provided the applicant:

(i)meets the requirements of paragraph 186 (i)-(v);

of which the only relevant condition is:

  1. (iv) is able to work and intends to take or seek employment in the United Kingdom

Hence there is no minimum hours requirement nor is there any distinction between self employed and salaried work.

In fact according to the wording of the rules it could be argued that there is not even a requirement to work, only that you are able to and intend to take or seek it.

  • Thank you for your help and for taking the time to investigate and provide references - I will accept this answer and have also emailed the Home Office so will update once I hear back from them.
    – celkie
    Dec 7, 2015 at 17:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.