The UK Ancestry Visa gives Commonwealth nationals with a grandparent born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, the opportunity to immigrate to the UK.
Become a Permanent UK Resident
With a United Kingdom Ancestry Visa, you are initially given 5 years to live and work in the UK. After 5 years in the UK you can apply for permanent residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain), provided you meet the necessary requirements. See Eligibility for more information.
- You must have a grandparent who was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
- You must be aged 17 years or over.
- You must be a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations. See all eligible countries.
- You must be able to support yourself in the UK without access to public funds.
Ancestry Visa FAQs
Can my spouse work in the UK?
What are the required documents for the UK ancestry visa?
This visa requires you to present birth certificates for you, your parents, and the grandparent that proves your ancestry.
Birth Certificate has to be issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages then it will be acceptable. Apart of the birth certificates there are other documents that need to be submitted as a part of the application.
Visa First can process this visa for you. Our visa specialists will assess your documents, present them to the relevant authority, handling your application from start to finish. We will keep you in touch in the process, getting back to you if the immigration authorities require additional documents or information.
Can I apply for a UK Visa for my spouse and children at the same time?
Is there a set amount of money that you need to bring into the country on arrival?
Need an answer to any other question? Click here to view the FAQ section!
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UK Ancestry Visa Eligibility Criteria
- You must be a Commonwealth citizen.
- You must be able to prove you have a grandparent born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle or Man, or a grandparent born in the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922. Note that this grandparent does not still need to be alive.
- You must be 17 years of age or older.
- You are able to and intend to take up employment in the UK.
- You can provide proof of sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK.
- You are able to support yourself and any dependents without recourse to public funds.
- You must apply in your home country or the country in which you are legally resident.
If you are granted a UK Ancestry Visa, your spouse/unmarried partner and your children under 18 years old will be able to join you in the UK, provided they have entry clearance for this purpose.
Requirements to Acquire Permanent Residency
- You continue to meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules for United Kingdom Ancestry.
- You have spent time in employment in the UK without a break on your Ancestry Visa.
Evidence of Funds
To be eligible for this UK work visa you must provide proof of funds, for example a bank statement in your name, no older than 1 month which shows that last 3 months transaction history and a minimum final balance of AU$3000. You must also be able to provide evidence to explain any large deposits into the account, such as payslips or sale of property receipts.
Commonwealth of Nations
|Antigua and Barbuda||Kiribati||Sri Lanka|
|Australia||Malawi||St. Christopher & Nevis|
|Bangladesh||Malaysia||St. Vincent & Grenadines|
|Brunei Darussalam||Namibia||The Gambia|
|Canada||New Zealand||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Ghana||Papua New Guinea||Vanuatu|
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is this visa valid for?
Where do I apply from?
Can my unmarried/same-sex partner join me in the UK?
Do I need an offer of employment before lodging my UK Ancestry Visa application?
How do I get a National Insurance Number in the UK?
Do I need to attend a biometric (fingerprinting) appointment as a part of my visa application?
Can I set up a business in UK, while on ancestry visa?
I want to apply for UK Ancestry visa. I have my father's birth certificate which has his British born parents stated on but I don't have my grandparents' birth certificates. Both of them are now deceased so can I obtain a copy of the Births, Marriage and Deaths Register in the UK?
If you hold an Irish visa, you will be allowed to work only in Ireland. To work in the UK you must obtain the relevant work visa.
For your daughter to be eligible to apply for the UK Ancestry visa she must you have a grandparent who was born in the United Kingdom (including the Channel Islands or Isle of Man) or a grandparent who was born in what is now the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922. Unfortunately as her grandfather was born in Malta she is not eligible to apply for this type of visa.
However if she's aged between 18-30 and has never been in the UK on a working holiday visa, then she might be eligible to apply for the UK Youth Mobility Scheme which will allow her to stay and work in the country for up to 2 years.
Does having a grandmother who was born in Scotland make me eligible for the UK Ancestry visa?
Can I travel freely to Spain if I have an ancestry visa? In other words does it give me right of abode?
Will being self employed hurt my chances of getting my Ancestry visa? Should I look for employment instead? What about my spouse?
I was granted a student visa, however due to some personal reasons I could not joining the course. The University has kept a place for me for the next year. Will I be able to get another visa for the same institution?
There will be no problem to apply for the Student visa once again next year when you need to go. You will simply need to lodge another application and provide all the required documents once again. In addition you will have to write a letter of explanation why you didn’t go on the previous visa.
If you want we can help you with the organizing of the visa. If you’re interested you can provide me with a contact number and a colleague of mine will call you and guide you through the process.
Do I need a return ticket to New Zealand with and ancestry visa or can I have a one way to get into England?
I hold a South African passport, but can get a UK Ancestry Visa. Does this mean I can travel through Europe under that UK Ancestry Visa (much like a British Passport would)? I am not looking to work while traveling through those European countries.
What generation of Grandparent can be used for an ancestry Visa? Just grandparents? or Can you go back one or two more generations?
Can I travel around northern and southern Ireland on my ancestry visa?
I've got an UK ancesty and just returned to New zealand how long can i leave the uk on the visa if i want to return back to the UK or is it before it the visa exspires 4 years from issue.
I am Canadian and both sets of my grandparents were born in the [now] province of Newfoundland before 1949 when Newfoundland was still a British Colony. Am I eligible to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa?
Unfortunately you won’t be eligible to apply for the UK Ancestry visa because your grandparents have to be born in the UK only. British colonies are not acceptable.
If you’re aged between 18-30, have no children and have never been in the UK, then you might be able to apply for the UK Youth Mobility Program which is valid for 2 years.
I have been granted an ancestry visa which I have used to work in the UK. The VISA has now expired. Am I eligible to apply for another ancestry visa?
I am in the process of getting my Ancestry Visa, however what I would like to know is the following. I am married to a lady who has a son from her previous marriage of which she has full custody of her son. Will he also be eligible for my ancestry visa or what do we need to do for him. He is currently 9 years of age.
My mother has dual citizenship for the UK and Australia as her father was born in the UK, am I eligible?
Both my Grandparents are English and my mother has had an English passport in the past which I think has expired, I would like to follow on my British blood line which Visa would be best for me, or is there an automatic way to get citizenship?
My dad has a UK ancestry visa. Will I be able to get a UK visa?
I have had my ancestry visa application approved, do I have to leave NZ within a certain time frame for the visa to be valid?
I want to apply 4 a UK ancestry visa but I want to know how much money I need behind me to get in with my six children.
I am working in the uk on an ancestry visa. Can I apply for a new ancestry visa in the uk?
Am I still eligible for a UK ancestry visa if my fiancée is a UK citizen?
My father gave up his British passport before I was born. Is there any way I could apply to come and work in the UK? My grandmother was not born in the UK but held a UK passport and lived in the UK 8 years would it be possible to apply for ancestry visa.
I currently have a UK Ancestral Visa but I am thinking of going out of the UK for more than 3 months this year which is the maximum amount of time I am allowed out a year in order to qualify for permanent residence. Could I extend my visa in order to still be illegible of would I have to apply for a new visa once this one has expired?
I am a Canadian citizen am I eligible to apply for the ancestral visa?
I am currently living and working in the UK on a working visa. Can I apply for the ancestry visa in the UK?
You won’t be allowed to apply for the Ancestry visa from inside the UK because of 2 reasons:
- if you’re on a working holiday visa which is a non-switchable category, which means that you can’t apply for another type of visa while in the UK on this one and you must leave the country once the visa expires
- the 1st time that you apply for an Ancestry visa you must be at your home country
If you’re at the moment on a work visa (other that the working holiday visa) and you already had an Ancestry visa, you will be allowed to apply from inside the UK.
If a person qualifies for an ancestral visa how does this convert to obtaining a British passport?
If I am a dependant on my fathers ancestry visa and it was my great grandfather that was English. Having turned 18 now and been out the country for a year will this affect me reapplying for an extension?
If your Ancestry visa is still valid there should be no problem to return t the UK even if you’ve been out of the country for a year. However with regards to the visa extension you will have to check with the Home office because now that you are no longer minor you won’t be able to apply for an Ancestry visa. This is because an eligible applicant should provide birth certificate of a grandparent of his born in the UK. In your case as your great grandfather was English you won’t be able to apply for an Ancestry visa.
Still I’d advise you to check with the UK Home Office if you can obtain another longterm visa.
If I am eligible through my grandparents birth certificates and sufficient funding, to receive a UK Ancestral Visa, do I have to work in the UK, or can I attend university without working, as long as my funds are covered?
If I have a UK Ancestry Visa, I believe that makes my husband and 17 year old son eligible for UK Ancestry Dependency Visas. Does that mean they can both work in the UK?
Yes, your husband and son will be able to work in the UK if they have UK Ancestry Dependent visa. Please be advised that they should apply together with you as it will be much easier and the application will be straight forward and you will need to do this while your son is still 17.
If you’re interested we can help you with the visa organizing for the 3 of you.
I have a grandfather from england, have his marriage certificate and death certificate, fathers birth and marriage certificates linking me to him but I can't find my grandfathers birth certificate as it doesnt appear to be on BMD records in england. I have census records proving his existence in england and his whole familys birth certificates proving their birth in england but not his.... do i still have a case to get in?
Are there age restrictions in applying for an Ancestry visa?
There is not upper age limit and the lower age limit is 17 at the time of planned arrival in the UK.
However, there is common sense upper age limitation. Since you need to live at least 5 years in the UK before you can apply for a citizenship, you will need to be able to work or have an income. If you cannot demonstrate the ability to find work trough combination of age, experience and qualifications or you have no income to support yourself, the British High Commission may not approve your application.
We generally recommend to applicants over 55 to have reliable income independent of country of residence or the ability to find a job.
Do I need to show proof of employment in the UK in order to be granted an ancestry Visa or am I allowed to locate employment once I am over there and settled?
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