UK Ancestry Visa

The immigration team has extensive experience in assisting applicants with ancestry visa applications. At present, the UK Ancestry visa route allows Commonwealth citizens over the age of 17 who have at least one grandparent who was born in the United Kingdom to enter and work, or to look for work in the UK.

UK ANCESTRY VISA

How do I qualify for the UK ancestry visa?

To be eligible to apply for an ancestry visa, you must demonstrate that:

  • you are over 17 years of age;
  • you are a Commonwealth citizen (including British Overseas Territories citizens, British Nationals (Overseas), British Overseas citizens and British subjects);
  • you are applying from outside the UK from a country where you are lawfully resident;
  • you are able and genuinely intend to work in the UK (this can include voluntary work);
  • you have enough money to support and accommodate yourself and any dependent family members without having to rely on public funds.

You must also be able to prove that one of your grandparents:

  • was born in the UK or Islands (i.e. the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands); or
  • was born before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland; or
  • was born on a British-registered ship or aircraft.

What period of leave will I be given? Can I extend my visa?

If your application is approved, you will be issued with a visa which will be valid for five years.

At the end of this period, you can either apply to extend your visa, or, if you satisfy the requirements, apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK (otherwise known as settlement).

What kind of activities can I undertake in the UK as an Ancestry visa holder?

As an ancestry visa holder, you are permitted to work in the UK (including self-employment and voluntary work) without restriction.

You are also permitted to study in the UK, subject to certain conditions.

Can I bring my family with me?

The ancestry visa allows you to bring a dependent spouse or partner and dependent children who are under the age of 18 at the time of your initial application.

How quickly can I become settled in the UK?

In most cases, you will become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after you have held an ancestry visa for at least five years.

To be eligible for indefinite leave to remain, you must demonstrate that:

  • you continue to be a Commonwealth citizen on the date of application;
  • you have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK and during this time have not been in breach of any UK immigration laws;
  • you meet the requirements in relation to absences (you must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any continuous 12-month period during the relevant qualifying period); and
  • you have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed the Life in the UK test.

For more information about us and our personal immigration services, please contact a member of the team who can answer any questions and guide you through the process.

FAQ

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Can I apply for an Ancestry visa if my step-parents were British?

No. You cannot claim ancestry through your step-parents. You may…

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No. You cannot claim ancestry through your step-parents. You may still be able to apply under this route if either you or your parent were adopted. This will require further documentary evidence.   

I am not a Commonwealth national but my grandparent was a British citizen, can I apply for an Ancestry visa?

No. It is a requirement that in order to be eligible to apply for a UK Ancestry visa, you must be a national of a Commonwealth country.

Can I study or work in the UK on an Ancestry visa?

Yes. One of the requirements to be granted an Ancestry…

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Yes. One of the requirements to be granted an Ancestry visa is that you will need to demonstrate that you are able and intending to work in the UK. You are also able to study in the UK on an Ancestry visa.

What are the requirements to apply for an Ancestry visa?

In order to apply for an Ancestry visa, you need…

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In order to apply for an Ancestry visa, you need to demonstrate that you are aged 17 or over, you intend to undertake work in the UK, you have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK, you are a Commonwealth citizen and you can prove that at least one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

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