UK Ancestry Visa – Here’s All You Need To Know

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Are you dreaming of moving to the UK to live and work?

If so, there are many routes you can choose to take when applying for a visa.

If you have a grandparent who was born in the UK, you may be able to apply for an Ancestry visa.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about applying for this visa.

Let’s get started!

What is a UK Ancestry visa?

This visa is issued to commonwealth citizens who have grandparents born in the UK and who want to live and work in the UK.

The Ancestry visa is initially valid for 5 years. However, if you would like to stay longer, you can apply for an extension. If you want to settle in the UK permanently you can also apply for this.

Who can apply for a UK Ancestry visa?

To apply for a UK Ancestry visa you need to:

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen
  • Be applying from outside the UK
  • Prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK
  • Plan and be ready to work in the UK
  • Be 17 or over
  • Have enough money without help from public funds to support and house both yourself and your dependents (if any)

If your visa application is successful, you will be entitled to work and study in the UK. You will also be able to bring your family members with you.

However, it’s important to note that, if you’re already in the UK on another visa, you can’t switch to an Ancestry visa. You will also not be eligible for public funds.

How do I prove my UK ancestry?

You must also show that you have a grandparent born in one of the following circumstances:

  • in the UK, this would include the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
  • before 31 March 1922 in what is now Ireland
  • on a British-registered ship, or aircraft

You can claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent were adopted or born within or outside marriage in the UK. However, you cannot claim UK ancestry through step-parents.

You can apply for this visa at the earliest of 3 months before travelling.

What documents are needed for a UK ancestry visa?

  • valid passport with a blank page, valid for at least 6 months.
  • bank statements to show sufficient funds 
  • tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
  • proof of ancestry
  • Full birth certificate from you and the parent and grandparent the ancestry claim is related to
  • If your husband, wife or civil partner want to come with you, you need your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document
  • If your parents and grandparents are married you will need their marriage certificates
  • If you or your parents are adopted you will need the legal adoption papers
  • Proof that you’re planning to work in the UK, documents can be job offers or if you’re self-employed, a business plan (not mandatory)

You might be asked to provide extra documents depending on your case.

How to apply for a UK ancestry visa?

You may also like:
UK Youth Mobility Scheme Visa (Tier 5) – What Is It & How To Apply

Bringing family members to the UK

Your dependant family members must apply separately to join or stay with you in the UK.

A ‘dependant’ is considered any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re a dependant presently in the UK

They will also need to get their fingerprints and photo taken.

If your dependant(s) are in the UK, they can apply for an extension. Members of your family cannot apply in the UK if they hold a visitor visa.

How to apply for a UK ancestry visa?

When you are applying for your visa you must complete and submit your application documents. You must also get your fingerprints and photo taken at a visa application centre for your biometric residence permit.

You need to get your biometric residence permit within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

After you provide the biometrics, you will find out if you have been successful within 3 weeks when you apply from outside of the UK.

The easiest way to secure a UK visa is to apply with Visa First.

We offer a safe online service. Our team will guide you through the entire application process and boost your chances of a successful outcome.

Apply for your UK Ancestry online with Visa First today!


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