Ancestry Visa

UK Ancestry Visa Guidance

Individuals from the Commonwealth who have ancestral family ties to the UK may be able to come and stay in the UK under the Ancestry Visa.

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What is the UK Ancestry Visa?

The UK Ancestry Visa allows Commonwealth citizens whose grandparents were born in the UK or Islands to reside and work in the UK.

With an Ancestry Visa, individuals can stay in the UK for 5 years, after which individuals may be able to either extend the visa or apply for indefinite leave to remain. Individuals will be able to bring their dependent family members with them.


UK Ancestry Visa eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a UK Ancestry visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 17 years old.
  • Be a Commonwealth citizen.
  • Be able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
  • Be able to financially support and accommodate yourself and any dependents while in the UK without needing to claim public funds.
  • Plan to work in the UK.

You must also show that one of your grandparents was either:

  • Born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
  • Born before 31 March 1922 in Ireland.
  • Born on a ship or aircraft that was either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government.

If either you or your parent were adopted, or if your parents or grandparents were not married, you will be eligible to claim ancestry.


Required documents

When you apply for a UK Ancestry Visa, you will be required to provide:

  • A current passport or another valid travel document.
  • Your full birth certificate.
  • The birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on.
  • Evidence to show that you intend to work in the UK (i.e. job offers or a business plan).
  • Evidence to show that you can financially support yourself in the UK (i.e. bank statements).

You may be required to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

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If you would like to know more about the UK Ancestry Visa, then please get in touch with us to speak to an expert immigration lawyer.

Please see our disclaimer for full information regarding consultation availability.

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UK Ancestry Visa Application Process

How to apply for the UK Ancestry Visa

To apply for the UK Ancestry Visa, you must submit an online application prior to travelling to the UK. The earliest you can apply for an Ancestry Visa is 3 months before you travel to the UK.

As part of the application process, you will be required to attend an appointment at a visa application centre in order to prove your identity by providing your biometric information (fingerprints and facial photograph).


How long is a UK Ancestry Visa valid?

A UK Ancestry Visa is valid for 5 years. If you wish to remain in the UK you must either apply to extend your Ancestry Visa or apply for indefinite leave to remain.


How much does a UK Ancestry Visa cost?

A UK Ancestry Visa costs £637. However, as part of the application process, you will be required to pay the immigration health surcharge which is £624 per year.

- Correct at the time of writing - 4th October 2023.


How long does it take to receive a decision?

You should receive a decision within 3 weeks. However, depending on availability and eligibility you may be able to pay to receive a faster decision.


Can I extend my Ancestry Visa?

Yes, you can extend the Ancestry Visa as many times as you like providing that you still meet the eligibility requirements. 

It is important to note that once you have lived in the UK for 5 years on an Ancestry Visa, then you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain which is a form of permanent settlement. Once you have held indefinite leave to remain for at least 12 months, you will be able to apply for British citizenship.

Why work with Paragon Law?

Applying for an Ancestry Visa can be challenging and many first applications are refused. However, our immigration solicitors and lawyers are knowledgeable in the requirements to make successful Ancestry Visa applications and we will work with you to ensure the best possible application is filed on your behalf.

Ancestry Visa Fees

Our fees reflect the service required and the complexities of the case. For a tailored quote please consult one of our immigration lawyers. As an immigration law firm, we offer our clients an initial consultation with an immigration lawyer in order to get more detail about your case.

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Enquire now about the Ancestry Visa

Our expert immigration lawyers are able to assist you to apply for an ancestry visa. To find out more about how we can help you, fill out the form below and one of our immigration advisors will get back to you shortly.

Ancestry Visa: FAQs

How long does an ancestry visa application take to process?

Decisions are usually made within 3 weeks of submitting an application and documentation.

How long can I stay in the UK with an ancestry visa?

With an ancestry visa, you are able to stay in the UK for up to 5 years.

Can I extend my ancestry visa?

Individuals are able to apply to extend their ancestry visa for 5 years at a time so long as you meet the eligibility requirements. After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, you are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain which can ultimately lead to British citizenship.

How much does an ancestry visa cost?

The application for an Ancestry visa costs £516.

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