The UK Ancestry visa is one of the most popular routes to residency in the UK. As its name suggests, acquiring the UK Ancestry visa requires you to have ancestry from the UK. More specifically, you must have a grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.


There are a number of other requirements for the UK Ancestry visa which you must also meet. Nevertheless, the UK Ancestry Visa is hugely advantageous route for those Commonwealth citizens who are eligible. It is therefore vitally important to make that you fill in your application correctly. That is where we can help!


Get all you need to know about the UK Ancestry Visa below.


You can contact us here to get started.


Why are only Commonwealth citizens eligible?


The Commonwealth of Nations is a political organisation made up of 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former colonies of the British Empire. The organisation comprises over 2 billion people from all over the world and represents one of the easiest routes for Commonwealth citizens who qualify in the form of the UK Ancestry visa. Commonwealth citizens are given special status due to their unique political, cultural, economic and familial ties to the United Kingdom.


What are the basic requirements for the UK Ancestry visa?


There are very few basic requirements for the UK Ancestry visa. The applicant must be as follows:


  • At least 17 years of age at the time of the application
  • A Commonwealth citizen
  • Have a grandparent born in the UK/British Isles, or in Ireland before 31/03/1922, or on a ship or aircraft that was either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government
  • Be able and intend to work
  • Must be able to support yourself and any dependants while you are in the UK


You can also claim ancestry if you or your parent were adopted, or if your parents or grandparents were not married. However, you cannot claim ancestry through your step-parents.


But what are the financial and work requirements?


The UK Ancestry Visa is unique in that, comparably, the financial and work requirements are very low. There is no specified amount of money you must have in savings, there is no minimum salary you need to be earning, and you do not even need to have a job lined up.


All that is required for the work requirements for this route is that (as mentioned in the previous section) the applicant can show that they are ‘able to work and intend to seek and take employment’. This can be proven in the form of examples of past experience of work, future job offers or even signing up with a UK recruitment agency.


As for financial requirements, the applicant must be able to prove that they are able to support themselves without needing to access public funds. This can include being able to demonstrate ‘credible promises of financial support from a third party, such as a relative or friend of the applicant’.


You are able to work for any employer you wish, meaning that the route is not limited to licensed sponsors.  You are also able to use the UK Ancestry visa to study.


Can I bring my partner and family?


Once again, the UK Ancestry visa is particularly advantageous when it comes to allowing dependants of the applicant to qualify for settlement. Dependants qualify for settlement as soon as the applicant does.


Dependants are classed as your partner, any child under the age of 18, as well as any child over the age of 18 who was previously on either you or your partner’s visa as a dependant.


Your partner is classed as someone you’re in a UK-recognised civil partnership or marriage with, or someone you’re in a relationship with who you’ve been living with for at least 2 years when you apply.

Meanwhile, unless they’re living away from home for full time education, your child must live with you. They cannot be married, in a civil partnership or have a child.


Finally, they must be supported by you without public funds.


How long does the UK Ancestry visa last, and does it allow you to qualify for leave to remain?


The UK Ancestry visa lasts for a maximum of five years. By the end of this period, you should be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). This is conditional on whether you meet the requirements, such as:


  • Continuing to satisfy the requirements
  • You spent five years continuously in the UK
  • You did not spend more than 90 days per year outside of the UK during the five years
  • You have worked throughout the five year period


If you do not qualify for ILR, you may be able to extend your UK Ancestry visa by another five years.


A big advantage of the UK Ancestry visa is that, unlike others UK routes to settlement, you don’t have to be on the UK Ancestry visa to qualify for settlement. This means that you are able to rely on any previous five-year period you held as a UK Ancestry visa holder.


How much does the UK Ancestry visa cost?


The fee to apply for entry clearance for a UK Ancestry visa costs £516. Nevertheless, it is worth bearing in mind that you will also need to pay for the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge, which typically costs £624 per year. This will allow you to use the National Health Service (NHS). If you don’t pay the Immigration Health Surcharge then your visa won’t be granted.


If you decide to extend the visa after five years then your application will be more expensive. The fee in this situation will be £1,048, plus the healthcare surcharge.


What documents do I need to provide?


It is very important to provide the correct documents. If you fail to do so, your application is likely to be refused. Some of the documents you will have to provide include:


  • Passport
  • Birth certificate (your own)
  • Birth certificate of the parent or grandparent on which your application is based
  • Evidence that you plan to work in the UK (job offer or business plan)
  • Bank statement showing you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependants


In addition to these documents, you may also need to provide (where applicable):


  • Evidence that your parents/grandparents have changed their name since birth, such as marriage/civil partnership certificates or deed poll.
  • Legal adoption papers if you or your parents are adopted
  • If you are from one of the countries where a tuberculosis test is required then you will need to provide your TB results
  • Finally, your civil partnership/marriage registration document if your spouse or civil partner wants to join you in the UK


Our thoughts


If you are eligible for a UK Ancestry visa, then it makes perfect sense for you to apply as there are a number of key advantage over other immigration routes that we have already mentioned.  You will have an advantage over other routes through the relative ease of applying for settlement once the five year period of the Ancestry visa comes to an end. You will be able to work in any job as long as you can support yourself and can bring dependants providing they can also be supported.


We would be happy to help you with your UK Ancestry visa application, and offer a highly competitive fee of £1,500. Contact us now to start your journey to the UK.


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