UK Ancestry Visa

We can advise you on whether you qualify for a UK Ancestry Visa with our Advice Package

Call 0333 363 8577 for a free consultation

If you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country and one of your grandparents was born in the UK, you may be eligible for a five-year UK Ancestry Visa. This will allow you to live, work and study in the UK. After five years, you can either apply for a renewal or apply for settled status.

The Ancestral Visa UK does not require you to have already been offered a job in the UK before you apply. This makes it a much simpler route for those who are eligible. You will not be able to claim public funds on this visa type, so evidence of maintenance will be vital to receiving a good result.

Because you are applying as the relative of a British citizen, you will need to provide detailed evidence which proves their British heritage. These can sometimes be difficult to source for grandparents who left the UK a long time ago.

How can IAS help?

Our experienced immigration lawyers can work with you to help you secure your UK Ancestry Visa. We will work with you to assess whether your heritage makes you eligible which can include sourcing and locating family history documents for you, to use as evidence for the Home Office.

We will also perform a document check and fill your application out using expert knowledge. Our services also involve one of our lawyers producing a Letter of Representation. This letter references your supporting documents, relevant UK immigration laws and cases in support of your application. This will maximise your chances of a successful UK Ancestry Visa application.

Get in touch online today or call 0333 363 8577 to speak to an expert immigration lawyer, or see our FAQs below for more information.

FAQs

What are the UK Ancestry Visa requirements?

In order to qualify for a UK Ancestry Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • be 17 or over;
  • have enough money to support yourself without accessing public funds;
  • plan to work in the UK; and
  • be a citizen of the Commonwealth.

It is important to note that, even though Zimbabwe is no longer part of the Commonwealth, they are treated as such for the purposes of UK Ancestry applications. Zimbabwean nationals can successfully apply for UK Ancestry if they can satisfy the requirements of the UK Ancestry Visa.

You must also meet one of the following ancestry requirements:

  • Have a grandparent born in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man;
  • Have a grandparent born in what is now the Republic of Ireland on or before 31st March 1922; and
  • Have a grandparent born on a British-registered ship or aircraft.

You can also claim an Ancestry Visa if you or your parent was adopted or was born within or outside marriage in the UK.

You cannot claim UK ancestry through your step-parents.

What can I do on a British Ancestry Visa?

With a British Ancestry Visa, you can live and work in the UK. You can also study on an Ancestral Visa, UK universities will accept this as a valid visa for their immigration checks.

You can stay in the UK for up to five years on a British Ancestry Visa. After this five year period has elapsed, you can apply to extend your visa or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

You cannot apply to change or switch to this visa if you are already in the UK.

You also cannot access public funds and may be required to pay the NHS surcharge when making your visa application.

How do I apply for a UK Ancestry Visa?

You must make your UK ancestry visa application from outside the UK. In order to apply, you will need the following documents:

  • A current passport or another valid travel document.
  • Bank statements showing that you have enough money to support yourself.
  • Your tuberculosis test results if you are applying from a country where a TB test is required.

In order to prove your eligibility for the UK Ancestry Visa, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Your full birth certificate.
  • A marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document if you are applying to take your spouse with you.
  • The full birth certificate of the grandparent through whom your ancestry claim is based.
  • Marriage certificates for your parents and grandparents, if they were married.
  • Adoption papers, if you or your parents are adopted.
  • Evidence of your plans to work in the UK, either in the form of a job offer or a business plan if you are planning to be self-employed.

Other documents may be required depending on your circumstances. If you are applying through Immigration Advice Service, we will be able to advise you on which documents are required.

How much does it cost to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa?

The UK ancestry visa will cost £496. You may also need to pay the NHS healthcare surcharge which is equal to £200 per year.

How long does the British Ancestry Visa take to process?

You cannot apply for the British Ancestry Visa more than three months in advance of your intended travel date. For example, if you plan to travel on 15th September, the earliest you can apply is 16th June. You should get a decision on the outcome of your visa within three weeks.

If you would like to start your British Ancestry Visa application, get in touch with the team at IAS to find out the next steps.

Can I extend a UK Ancestry Visa?

If you have been living in the UK for five years with a UK Ancestry Visa you can apply for a UK Ancestry Visa extension.

This will allow you to remain in the UK for a further five years, during which time you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

An Ancestral Visa UK extension is also useful if you do not intend to stay in the country indefinitely, or have not decided yet but would like more time in the UK.

For more information on UK Ancestry Visa extensions

What services does IAS offer?

Applying for a UK Ancestry Visa can be very complex, as it involves providing many documents and proof of your ancestral history.

Our team of expert immigration lawyers is available to help you with your Ancestral Visa application.

Our services include:

  • ensuring you have the sufficient documents for your application;
  • locating family history using subject access requests for documents to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements;
  • preparing a Letter of Representation to accompany your British Ancestry Visa application. This will offer the positives of your case and any relevant UK immigration laws which support it;
  • corresponding with the Home Office while your application is processed; and
  • competently completing your application in full before its submission.

Contact us on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to discuss your eligibility and application for a UK Ancestry Visa.

Our Ancestry Visa Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals

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Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible

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Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline

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Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals

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A few of

our experienced

immigration lawyers

Case studies

We are proud to have changed lives for the better. Here are some of their stories:

Marcelle: Visitor Visa

Marcelle contacted IAS about how to obtain a UK Visitor Visa as she was touring Europe.
The lawyer from IAS instructed her on the requirements of the UK immigration rules… Read More

Anna: Tier 2 Work Visa

Anna, a Russian National, was promoted by her global company and was required to move her and her family to relocate to London.
However, under UK immigration rules, Anna… Read More

Marcus: Returning to the UK After Overstaying

Marcus is a Dominican Republic national who overstayed in his previous Spouse Visa when last in the UK due to a relationship breakdown.
He wanted to return to the UK… Read More

Parents Visiting in the UK

Harriet is dual Canadian-British Citizen who was currently living in the UK. She needed guidance on whether her Canadian Citizen parents would need a visa to enter the UK… Read More

Remy: Working in the UK

Remy was a French national living in the UK who had found employment in the UK.
However, his employer was unsure whether or not Remy was eligible to work in the… Read More

Mike: Visiting the UK with a Criminal Record

Mike, a South African National received the news that his brother had recently had a newborn baby boy.
Mike was eager to meet his new nephew, however his brother lived… Read More

Latest reviews

Bradbury

feel confident with IAS and look forward to dealing with them and Irfam

Seridne M
Brilliant service and very friendly helpful staff. I have received my letter for my ceremony and it took me only… Read More
Emilly
Our visa was approved! We had Irfan Waheed and he was very thorough and always available to help. Very happy… Read More

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