UK Ancestry Visa | Work Visa
A UK Ancestry Visa allows you to live and work in the UK without restriction if you can prove you have a UK-born grandparent. This is a popular option for people throughout the Commonwealth who have been unable to claim British Nationality. It is issued for an initial period of five years. The family of an Ancestry Visa holder can also live in the UK providing they have adequate funding available to ensure no public funds will be necessary to support them.
To ensure your application for UK Ancestry visa is not refused, please e-mail us your details on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0207 237 3388. Complete the visa assessment form, by clicking here.
Over 4,000 Ancestry Visas are issued every year. An Ancestry Visa holder may also be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and UK Nationality, provided they meet the requirements and stay in the UK for longer than five years.
The definition of a UK birth, as applies to the Ancestry Visa, includes those born in the Channel Islands and on British-registered ships, but does not include birth in former British Colonies. You can still make a claim if you have been adopted, but not through British step-parents or step-grandparents.
Ancestry Visa applications can also be complicated when there are discrepancies with dates/places of birth or with the ancestral names recorded on old birth and marriage certificates. In some cases, ancestral records are not even available.
For over 20 years we have been helping people discover and certify their claim to British Heritage and Nationality. We examine your family tree and conduct thorough research to give you an authoritative answer as to your Visa and Nationality options.
Requirements of the UK Ancestry Visa
Be able to prove that you have a grandparent that was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man;
You must be able to support yourself without access to public funds; AND
You must apply in your home country, or the country where you are legally resident.
Successful Ancestry Visa applicants are given 5 years to live and work in the UK. After 5 years in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and then later UK Citizenship. Individuals who currently hold ancestry visas valid for 4 years may apply from within the UK to extend these.
You cannot claim UK ancestry through step-parents, but you can apply if you or your parent (through whom you are claiming ancestry) are adopted. You must show evidence of the legal adoption of your application form.
During that time you may work without restriction, whether employed or self-employed. You may also freely exit and re-enter the UK multiple times. You must apply for this visa outside the UK – usually from your home country. If you do not meet these requirements, you will need to apply under one of our other work-based immigration routes in order to work here.
Applying from outside the UK
You must obtain permission to enter the United Kingdom (known as 'entry clearance') on the basis of your United Kingdom ancestry before you travel here. This entry clearance will take the form of a visa or entry clearance certificate - to obtain it, you should apply to the British diplomatic post in the country where you live.
Applying from inside the UK
If you have already entered the United Kingdom with a different kind of visa, you cannot switch to the United Kingdom ancestry category. The Home Office will only give you permission to stay in the country on the basis of United Kingdom ancestry if you entered the United Kingdom holding entry clearance based on your United Kingdom ancestry, or we have already given you permission to stay based on United Kingdom ancestry.
Indefinite Leave to Remain or Extending your stay in the UK
If you have lived and worked continuously in the United Kingdom for five years in this category, and if you still meet the United Kingdom ancestry requirements you can apply to live here permanently.
Want to know more? Read about other UK Visa options: