Just so you know

We are both South African nationals, living in the UK since 2015. Due to our family’s British heritage (Andre’s maternal grandfather and great-grandparents were all British), we were issued with 5-year Ancestry visas that allowed us to live and work in the UK without restrictions.

Our immigration progress

to obtain permanent residency 100%
to obtain British citizenship 99%

In October 2020, we were granted ‘permanent resident’ status
Permanent Residency (officially known as Indefinite Leave to Remain), allow us to permanently live in the UK as foreign nationals. This means we will remain South African nationals with green passports, but we are no longer subject to immigration laws under the visa system. We can live and work in the UK for as long as we want (no expiration date as with a visa), but if we leave the country for more than 2 years, our ‘settled’ status would be cancelled.

In October 2021 we’ll be eligible for citizenship
British citizenship gives us the right to British passports and the full rights of UK nationals. Unlike settlement, which expires when you leave the country for more than 2 years, British citizenship is for life. This means we can exit and re-enter the UK as we please, with no entry restrictions or additional checks whatsoever. We can also travel visa-free as British nationals to most countries around the world, claim state benefits, rebates or public funds and even stand to be elected as a member of parliament.

South Africa and the UK allow their citizens to be dual nationals. In our situation, this means that we can be both South African and British citizens and therefore enjoy the rights and privileges that each country offer.

In May 2021, we filed the paperwork with the South African High Commission in London to retain our citizenship and we will therefore remain South Africans when we apply for British citizenship later this year.