I have the opportunity to apply for a UK ancestry Visa or get a British passport....from what i gather they offer very similar things and im not sure which I should apply for. If anyone has any tips I would be very greatful!!
A UK Ancestry visa is open to Commonwealth residents who had a grandparent born in the UK...it gives you permission to work in the UK for five years, after which time you may be able to apply for permanent residency status and citizenship. A British passport indicates that you are a citizen of the UK...this would usually be available to children of British parents. Obviously, a passport is much more valuable than an ancestry visa, allowing you a legal residency status that the ancestry visa does not confer. As well, the passport gives you E-U settlement and employment rights that the ancestry visa does not.
No question - the passport. There are many of us who would give a heck of a lot to get a British Passport - it makes life over here MUCH MUCH MUCH easier. I would absolutely LOVE not to go through all the hassle of visas, fees and the various limitations of non-citizens. That British passport gives you the right to work and travel anywhere in the EU - a very nice thing.
Also, the passport only includes one fee. With the visa, it's one fee to get the visa, then more fees down the line to get your permanent residency and then passport. Each fee can be as much as $1000, so it's not cheap.
Unfortunately, my British grandmum moved to the US, so I don't get any of the ancestry Visa benefits. Grrr.
Absolutely the passport. You can live and work anywhere in Europe (which is getting larger all the time!).
Canada allows dual citizenship, right? In the U.S. you would have to give up your U.S. Passport to hold a U.K. Passport.
Brad...yes, Canada does allow dual citizenship...and so does the U-S . So you can carry more than just a U-S passport now.
There is also such a thing as the "Right of Abode in the UK", which I have in my Canadian passport. If you have a parent born in the UK you are eligible for this. Information on UK Consular website as to other requirements. There is a one-time fee of about $250 and when you renew your Cdn passport you just apply again to the British Embassy in Ottawa for a renewal of the Right of Abode certificate. My husband is British and at one time we were thinking of relocating to the UK so the R of A would have allowed me to do that. As it is, now it just allows me to go through the short EU line at Passport Control at Heathrow!
The US has allowed dual citizenship for many years...it's just that the regulations were written to be vague to discourage people from being dual citizens. A few years back they clarified the regulations, which say that dual citizenship is fine as long as you don't take on a new passport with the express intent of giving up your US citizenship.