If you are a Commonwealth citizen (aged 17 or older) and have a grandparent who was born in the UK or the Islands, you may be able to apply for the UK Ancestry Visa. What the UK Ancestry Visa will give you is permission to live and work in the UK with a route towards permanent residence.
The UK Ancestry Visa will also enable Ancestry visa holders a right to work or study in the UK on a temporary basis with the option to settle in the UK eventually.
The UK Ancestry Visa is a potential route of entry for people who are UK descendants, namely a grandparent born in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or Ireland prior to 31 March 1922.
Successful applicants for an ancestral visa will be granted 5 years of stay with the option to extend their Ancestry Visa for another 5 years, or pursue 5-Years' Indefinite Leave to Remain should they meet the requirements.
If you successfully apply for a UK Ancestry Visa, you will be able to work, study, and bring your partner and children to the UK.
In addition, your work can be part-time, full-time, paid or voluntary, and you can be either self-employed or employed by somebody else.
However, you cannot switch to this visa type if you have gained entry to the UK on a different visa. You have to apply for Entry Clearance from abroad before entering the UK as an Ancestry Visa holder.
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel, and at the time of application you must meet a number of requirements on top of your UK Ancestry claim.
Consulting with the skilled immigration lawyers at QC Immigration is recommended to discuss all your visa options.
Just like any visa, you must meet certain criteria before you can apply for an Ancestry Visa. It is highly recommended that you perform your own due diligence with your family tree research to ensure you are eligible for this visa option.
It is also important to remember that you should apply for a UK Ancestry visa before you plan any travel to the UK.
To meet the eligibility criteria you must:
You must be able to prove that you are a Commonwealth citizen, in order to do so you must meet be either:
This can be proven with a valid passport or travel document that has been issued by a Commonwealth country. This also applies for those who have recently been naturalised Commonwealth citizens.
To be eligible for this visa, you will need to show that you have one grandparent born either:
You will be required to provide supporting documents to evidence claims you make regarding the above, please see below.
You will be eligible if your parents or grandparents were not legally married. You cannot, however, claim ancestry from a step-parent or step-grandparent.
You also cannot qualify on the basis of ancestry claim of having a great-grandparent or more distant ancestor born in the UK or Islands.
You will also be eligible if you or family members of your parents were adopted outside the UK so long as the adoption process is recognised as valid for work in the UK for purposes of UK law.
There are government resources for further guidance on valid adoptions.
Contact QC Immigration to make sure that you are meeting all the eligibility requirements for the UK Ancestry Visa, and receive guidance on how best to build your case to increase your chances of being granted the visa.
Our London-based immigration law team has extensive experience in this area and will be able to make sure you are pursuing the right visa route with a strong and convincing application, saving you valuable time. Our experts will review the eligibility requirements and advise you about your eligibility.
No matter where you are located in the world, our immigration experts can assist you in-person or remotely with their local UK knowledge and first-hand experience.
Submitting the appropriate documentation is a necessity when applying for the UK Ancestry Visa.
In order to successfully apply for an Ancestry Visa, you must also prove that you intend on securing, or have already secured, employment in the UK.
You can do this through a job offer, business plan or similar document if you intend to be self-employed or to run your own business.
This can include unpaid voluntary work so long as you meet the financial requirements.
There are other ways that can show that you are actively seeking work or have managed to successfully seek employment, our team who has dealt with many applications – all with unique circumstances – will be able to help you prove your intention to work in the UK.
Under the immigration rules, relating to UK Ancestry visa, you will be allowed to bring some family members with you to reside in the UK. The list of family members includes:
Please note that if you are the partner or spouse of someone within the UK who has a UK Ancestry visa, you must apply online.
If you are applying for dependents, you need to ensure that you are able to show that adequate maintenance and accommodation requirements will be met without any recourse to public funds. You will need to evidence that you can support and maintain your partner and dependents without claiming benefits.
You and your partner should aim to submit the applications at the same time so you can travel to the UK together. Nevertheless, partners can apply later and travel separately.
Partners already in the UK who were granted entry clearance as a short-term student, seasonal worker visa, parent of a child student visa or visitor are not eligible to apply to reside with you. The same applies if your partner has been granted immigration bail or temporary permission to stay outside the immigration rules.
If you are applying for leave to enter or leave to remain, then as part of the application process your partner will need to attend a visa application centre. At the visa application centre they will be required to submit their biometric information.
This will include a digital photograph of themselves and a scan of their fingerprints. They can attend a visa application centre in the home country that they are currently residing in.
If they are switching their existing visa in the UK, they can attend a UKVCAS service point to submit their biometric data.
Our team of legal experts can assist you in putting together an application that has a positive chance of being accepted, provided all legal and financial requirements are in place. We can highlight the important information to include, reducing any wasted time or resources on unnecessary tasks or documents.
Our immigration law specialists will be able to provide the practical guidance that is needed to ensure your applicable traits for the Ancestry Visa are highlighted.
QC Immigration can help Increase your chances of your UK visa application being accepted with the help of our experienced immigration lawyers.