UK Ancestry visa
- Becoming British through the UK Ancestry Visa
- Initial visa is valid for 5 years
- After 5 years, the holder can apply for an extension or for Indefinite Leave (ILR)
- Visa for Commonwealth citizen having a UK-born grandparent
- UK Ancestry visa allows the applicant to live, study and work in the UK
- For ILR, applicants must evidence UK residency and employment efforts for the last 5 years
If you are a Commonwealth citizen and have a grandparent who was born in the UK, you may be able to live and work in the UK on the basis of your UK Ancestry.
In order to apply for a UK Ancestry visa, you will need to show that you:
- Are a commonwealth citizen;
- You are aged 17 or over;
- Are able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, on a British-registered ship or aircraft or in the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922;
- You are able and planning to work in the UK;
- You have sufficient funds and accommodation to support yourself
One of the most important aspect of an UK Ancestry visa application is establishing that the applicant has a UK born grandparent. This can either be a blood grandparent or a grandparent by reason of an adoption that is recognised in the UK.
How Long is the Visa For
If your application is successful, you will be granted with a visa valid for a period of 5 years.
After residing in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years you will be able to apply for an extension, should you wish, or apply for indefinite leave to remain.
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain, you must be able to provide evidence that you have been working or genuinely seeking work during the past five years. You must also demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK. You must also show that you have not spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any of the previous 5 years.
What you can and cannot do
If you reside in the UK on a UK Ancestry visa, you can:
- Do voluntary work
- Bring your dependants (partners and children under 18 years old)
Unfortunately, you will not be able to:
- Have access to public funds
Initial applications can only be made from outside the UK. Unless you are applying for an extension, which you can then only apply from inside the UK.
Once your application has been submitted and you have attended the Visa Application Centre to enrol your biometrics, you should receive a decision within 3 weeks. There may be options to pay an additional fee to receive a faster decision, however this service is not available at every location.