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UK Ancestry Visa

Through the UK Ancestry Visa, you now have an alternative route to British citizenship. If you are a commonwealth citizen with a grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man, you and your family could be granted the right to live, work and study in the UK, one of the most attractive destinations in the world. Make the most out of your ancestry by pursuing a UK passport through the UK Ancestry Visa and experience all the business and lifestyle opportunities afforded by one of the top citizenships in the world.

UK Ancestry Visa

An alternative route to British citizenship

The UK has long been a significant political and economic world power, and London, the financial capital of the world, offers an international business environment. The UK is also renowned for having some of the best educational institutions and an open, international culture. British citizenship offers its holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 190 destinations worldwide.

As a Commonwealth citizen with a grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man, you are eligible to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa, a five-year visa that allows you to live and work in the UK without restriction. After this five-year period, you would qualify to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and after an additional 12 months, you would become eligible to apply for British citizenship.

Although it is a requirement that you actively engage in work during your five-year stay, there are no constraints on the nature of the work that you conduct. This means you have the freedom to be employed or set up your own business in any industry, making the UK Ancestry Visa an appealing choice.

Requirements for the UK Ancestry Visa

Conditions for descendants

To qualify for a UK Ancestry Visa, you must:

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen
  • Be able to demonstrate that one of your grandparents was born in the UK
  • Show that you are willing and able to work in the UK
  • Be 17 years of age or older
  • Have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents during your stay in the UK

It is not mandatory to be working at the time you that you submit your application. However, you will need to show that you intend to work and take or seek out employment in the UK.

Under the UK Ancestry Visa, you can also bring your unmarried partner, spouse, civil partner, and dependent minor children under 18 to live with you in the UK. They will usually be granted the same length of stay as the main visa applicant and will also have the right to live, work, and study in the UK.

Once your five years of living and working in the UK are complete, you have the option to either extend your ancestry visa or apply for ILR, and thereafter, British citizenship.

Conditions for ancestors

In addition to the above, you need to show that your grandparent was born:

  • In the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)  
  • In the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922
  • On a British-registered ship or aircraft

Ancestry can also be claimed if you or your parent were adopted. It is important to note, however, that you cannot claim UK ancestry through a step-parent.

Documents required

When you apply, you will need to provide:

  • A current passport or another valid travel document
  • Your full birth certificate
  • The full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
  • Evidence that you are planning to work in the UK
  • Evidence that you can support yourself and any dependents in the UK
  • Evidence that your parent or grandparent changed their name since birth (if applicable)
  • Legal adoption papers if you or your parent were adopted
  • Proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they are applying with you

Procedures and time frame of the UK Ancestry Visa

Applications are submitted online and are initiated from your country of residence. Following submission, you will need to furnish supporting documentation and schedule an appointment at a visa application center to provide your biometric data. 

For your partner or descendants, it is recommended that you submit your applications simultaneously to facilitate coordinated travel to the UK. However, your partner retains the option to apply later to join you. If your partner is already in the UK, they can apply to switch their visa from a different category. However, it is important to note that they are ineligible to apply if their most recent entry clearance was as a visitor or short-term student. Partners and dependents will also need to attend a visa application appointment to provide their biometric data.

Usually, a decision is reached within three weeks, although expedited processing options may be accessible at your local visa application center.

Contact us today

For more information on how we can help you secure your future by connecting with your family’s legacy, please complete the UK Ancestry Visa enquiry form below.

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