Good News For Commonwealth Nationals

The results of a recent poll conducted by the Royal Commonwealth Society has found that many people in the UK support the introduction of reciprocal rights to live and work freely in countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.  The poll was published ahead of changes to the UK Visa rules for nationals outside the European Economic Area (EEA) due to come into force on 6 April 2016. The good news for commonwealth and Non – EEA nationals in the meantime in the absence of free movement there are still a numbers of ways under the current immigration rules in which they can obtain a UK visa. 

The Poll for Free Movement

The report was conducted as part of research to investigate the specific barriers to strengthening the engagement and sharing of talents in the contemporary Commonwealth. The research aims to address ways in which nationals from the four countries above could live and work more freely within one another and it hopes that in time this could apply to other Commonwealth countries with comparable economic characteristics.

The poll is just one of a series of surveys that have been carried out following calls made by London Mayor, Boris Johnson – following his visit to Australia in 2013 – for a ‘free labour mobility zone’ between Australia and the UK.

Forthcoming changes to the UK visa rules such as changes to the Tier 2 salary thresholds and the £200 annual NHS surcharge amongst other minor changes means that at the moment many Applicants from countries such as Australia and New Zealand fear that the rules might restrict their travel to the UK. However the good news for applicants is that there are various routes under the current UK visa rules that Applicants can actually come to the UK to work or for holidays. Many of the routes have different requirements so really it is up to Applicants to decide which is convenient for them and which most applies to their current situation.

Commenting on the findings of the poll Lord Howell of Guildford, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society, said:

We need to welcome our friends with open arms when they visit us, and in doing so, work to ensure as much free mobility as is workable. Between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom this flow and interchange of talented people is especially vital. This polling is invaluable as it shows the views and wishes of these fellow Commonwealth friends in strong support of closer ties.

If you are a national of one of the countries above or from one of the other commonwealth countries and you wish to come to the UK, it is best to seek legal advice to find out the options that may be available to you.  You can find the full list of commonwealth countries here.

We have also outlined a few UK visa routes that may be applicable to you below:

UK Visa Routes for Australia, Canada and New Zealand Nationals

General Visitor visa: You can apply for a General Visit Visa if you wish to come to the UK to see friends or family or as a tourist. If you have family members settled in the UK they can sponsor your visit.  Canadian nationals can visit the UK for a period of up to 6 months without the requirement for a visa.

UK Ancestry visa: The UK Ancestry visa route is for Commonwealth citizens who have a grandparent who was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man prior to 31 March 1922 and who wishes to migrate to the UK with the freedom to live and work.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme: This scheme is for young people aged between 18 – 31 years old who want to live and work in the UK. Every year the government allocates a number of places on the scheme for each country and territory. The countries currently participating in the scheme are Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco, Taiwan and Republic of Korea.

Legal Advice & Successful UK Visa Applications

Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers will be able to guide all common wealth nationals through the process of making a visa application to the UK step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of law.

Contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment.

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