How Do I Apply For An Ancestry Visa For The Uk

The United Kingdom (UK) Ancestry Visa Program is open to anyone who can trace their family tree back to the UK. Only applicants with a grandparent born in the UK and passed down their citizenship to at least one of their children qualify for this program. This article will give you an overview of the UK Ancestry Visa process, requirements and how to apply.If you have historical documents and/or Civil records to accompany your application, your chances of a successful application increase exponentially.  The visas mentioned above are applied for by applicants who sponsor applicants either before grant of Permanent Residence or after grant of Permanent Residence.  It is only after an applicant has obtained a visa that he/she is able to apply for British Citizenship which can only be granted after 5 years of applying for residency on the basis of marriage to an EEA member.

How Do I Apply For An Ancestry Visa For The Uk

Visiting the UK doesn’t have to be a hassle. Many of your vacations can become great opportunities to visit locals in the area with relatives or friends. Chances are, you might want to take a trip for leisure or business, and visit London.

UK Ancestry Visa

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.

UK Ancestry Visa refused

Having an application for the UK Ancestry Visa refused can be a frustrating experience. Some of the most common reasons for refusal include the following:

  • You are not an eligible citizen of a commonwealth country
  • You fail to show that you are actively seeking work in the UK
  • You cannot provide proof that one of your grandparents was born in the UK
  • You are unable to demonstrate that you have adequate finances to support yourself in the UK
  • Incomplete or inaccurate application
  • Failure to submit relevant supporting documents
  • Failure to respond to Home Office requests for further information

Unfortunately, if your Ancestry Visa application is refused, there is no automatic right of appeal, unless there is a clear error in the decision process.

This means you could request an administrative review of the decision if you are sure that your application ought to have been accepted.

You can speak with us if your visa application is refused and we can provide comprehensive support and advice on your situation to give you the best chance of achieving your goal in coming to the UK.

Ancestry Visa 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.

Requirements for a UK Ancestry Visa

In order to qualify for a UK Ancestry visa you will need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 17 on the date that you intend to arrive in the UK if you are applying for entry clearance and if you are under 18 on the date of application, parental consent must be provided;
  • You must be a Commonwealth citizen;
  • You may be required to provide a valid medical certificate, confirming that you have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis and that this tuberculosis is not present in you;
  • You must have a grandparent born in the UK or Islands;
  • You must be able to work and intend to take or seek employment in the UK;
  • You must be able to maintain and accommodate yourself adequately without relying on public funds;

Who is a Commonwealth Citizen?

To be considered as a Commonwealth citizen, you must be one of the following:

  • a British Overseas Territories citizen;
  • a British National (Overseas);
  • a British Overseas citizen;
  • a British subject;
  • a citizen of a country listed in Schedule 3 to the British Nationality Act 1981.

A valid passport or travel document issued by a Commonwealth country can be included as evidence of citizenship.

Financial Requirement for a UK Ancestry Visa

There is no specified amount of funds that an applicant must hold for the purpose of a UK Ancestry visa application.  Home Office guidance states at page 20: “There is no set level of funds, but applicants and their dependants on these routes must instead show they  can adequately maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants without receiving public funds (public funds are defined in paragraph 6 of the immigration Rules).” 

It is worth noting that the Home Office may accept credible promises of support from a third party, such as financial help from a relative or friend. 

How to Demonstrate UK Ancestry

You must show that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, in the Isle of Man, in the Channel Islands, in Ireland (born before 31 March 1922) or on a British-owned or registered ship or aircraft.

Your grandparent can be your blood grandparent or if you or your parents were adopted the adoption process must be valid and recognised by UK law. There is also no requirement for your parents or grandparents to have been married at the time of your birth.

Eligible dependants

Dependants of UK Ancestry visa holders must apply and be granted entry clearance before arriving in the UK. If they have been present in a country listed in Appendix T of the Immigration Rules for more than 6 months, a valid medical certificate must be provided.

To satisfy the relationship requirement, you must have been granted permission or are applying and being granted at the same time as your dependent partner. If you and your partner are not married, you must have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years prior to the date of application. Your relationship must also be genuine and subsisting. 

Any dependent child must be under 18 on the date of application and if 16 or over, must not be leading an independent life. As above, you must have been granted permission or are applying and being granted at the same time, on the UK Ancestry route when your dependent child submits the application. Both parents must either be applying at the same time as the dependent child or have permission to be in the UK but not as a visitor. There are however exceptions to this rule, such as if the migrant on the UK Ancestry route is a sole surviving parent.  

If your dependants are applying for permission to stay in the UK, they must be in the UK on the date of application and must not have, or have last been granted, permission:

  • as a visitor; or 
  • as a Short-term Student; or 
  • as a Parent of a Child Student; or
  • as a Seasonal Worker; or
  • as a domestic worker in a private household; or
  • outside the Immigration Rules. 

How to Apply for a UK Ancestry Visa

A person applying for a UK Ancestry visa must apply online on the website on the specified form. You can apply from the UK if you have been previously granted permission on the UK Ancestry route as a person with UK Ancestry, but otherwise the application must be submitted from outside the UK. 

The visa application fee of £516.00 must be paid. As part of your visa application, you may also have to pay for the immigration health surcharge.

Indefinite leave to remain on the basis of UK Ancestry

To qualify for settlement on the basis of UK Ancestry, you must be a Commonwealth citizen on the date of application. You must have spent a whole 5 year period lawfully in the UK on the UK Ancestry route and meet the continuous residence requirement.  

Unless you are over the age of 65, or have a disability which prevents you from meeting the requirement, you must meet the Knowledge of Life in the UK and English language requirement.

In order to meet the English language requirement, you must demonstrate English language skills on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in speaking and listening to at least level B1.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance with a UK Ancestry visa application contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.

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