What type of visa is an Ancestry visa?

Any overseas national from a commonwealth country can route to the UK to study or work through the ancestry visa route if they can provide evidence that their grandparents were born in the UK, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands.

The UK Ancestry visa is a right to abode or British nationals(overseas) visa route.

You can live, work or study in the UK for up to 5 years.

The visa seeker can apply for an ancestry visa as early as 3 months before the travel plans to the UK. It may take up to 3 weeks before your visa gets approved or rejected from the Home Office.

Eligibility for a UK ancestry visa

To get a UK Ancestry visa, the visa applicant must thoroughly abide by the UK ancestry visa guidelines laid down by the Home Office.

It would help if you evidenced the following

  1. You are at least 17 or over
  2. You have enough savings to sustain yourself in the UK
  3. You have enough money to sustain your dependents without help from public funds.
  4. You intend to work in the UK for a long time

Your ancestry route

You must prove that you have a grandparent born in one of the following situations:

  • Born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • Grandparent is before 31 March 1922, which is now Ireland
  • Born on a ship or aircraft that were either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government at the time

You can claim ancestry:

  • If you or your parent were adopted
  • If your grandparents or parents did not marry

You won’t be able to claim ancestry through step-parent.

Your stay in the UK

With a UK Ancestry visa, you can live in the UK for as long as 5 years before applying for an extension, if needed.

You can extend your visa for further 5 years. Once 5 years is established and well lived in the UK, one can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and, in due course, can go for British citizenship.

If your dependents have turned 18 while you were in the 5 year visa period, you don’t need to apply for a visa extension separately for them.

Freedom and restrictions with Ancestry visa

With the UK Ancestry visa, the visa applicant can do the following

  1. Study in a college or university of your choice in the UK
  2. Work for any firm in the UK of your choice.
  3. Bring your parents or children with you as dependents.

What you cannot do with a UK Ancestry visa is:

  1. Cannot raise funds or get access to the public funds
  2. Cannot switch or change your visa category after coming to the UK.

You may also note

A ‘dependant’ can be called either of the following

  • Visa applicant’s partner
  • Visa applicant’s child under 18 years of age
  • Visa applicant’s child aged 18 years or above was previously on your or your partner’s visa as a dependent.

You would need to show evidence of your relationship when you apply.

Your partner must be one of the following.

  • Someone you are in a civil partnership or marriage which is legal in the UK
  • Someone you have been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years before your UK Ancestry Visa application.

Your child

  • Must live with you unless they study in full-time education at boarding school, college, or university.
  • Must not be married, in a civil partnership or have any children
  • Must be supported by you financially without public funds.

Fees for a UK Ancestry Visa

The cost of a UK Ancestry visa is £516.

The cost of applying for a visa extension after 5 years may vary as follows

For each dependent applying, you are required to pay:

  • £1,033 application fee
  • the healthcare surcharge- varies with the number of dependents applying for
  • £19.20 for your biometric information with fingerprints and a photograph.

Taking expert Advice

To keep abreast with the latest developments in the UK visa and Immigration services and UK immigration news which could likely affect your Uk Ancestry visa application, the visa applicant must apply through an immigration lawyer. A Y & J Solicitors have been awarded as the best immigration lawyers award, and their expert, tailor-made advice has been serving many clients over the years now.

Alen Parker

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