UK ancestry visa

Ancestry Visa

UK ancestry visa is for citizens of Commonwealth countries who have a grandparent born in the UK and who wish to come to the UK to work.

For the purposes of ancestry visa, born in the UK means on the British Islands including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. 

Applicants have to demonstrate that they are able to work and intend to take or seek employment. They should have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds. 

Applicants should be 17 years of age and over. There is no upper age limit.

UK ancestry visa is issued for five years and leads to settlement after five years of continuous residence.


Where & how to apply
Eligibility for ILR
Dependants of persons with UK ancestry
How we can help

Where and how to apply for uk ancestry visa

Applicants need to demonstrate that they are able to work and intend to take or seek employment.  They may bring with them their dependants (spouse or unmarried partner and children under the age of 18 as of the date of application).  Dependants of ancestry visa holders have the right to work in the UK.

Applicants for a uk ancestry visa should have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds. There is no specific requirement for the amount of funds they should hold, but savings should be sufficient to cover accommodation and living expenses of the main applicant and dependants for a reasonable time until income is received from employment in the UK.

The government fees include the visa application fee, which is currently £516, and Immigration Health Surcharge which is currently £2000 calculated as £400 per year.

If you need an urgent decision, you can get the decision within two business days by paying £800 for super priority service.

Legal fees vary depending on the complexity of evidence. Typically, our fee is around £1500.

Eligibility for indefinite leave to remain

Holders of UK ancestry visa can apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years of continuous residence in this category.

Absences from the UK of more than 180 days in any 12 month period break the continuity of residence. Thus excessive absences may be a barrier to indefinite leave to remain. If it is, the visa can be extended for another five-year period. There is no limit on these extensions.

Continuous employment throughout the five year period is not mandatory, but intention to work has to be demonstrated through the entire period.

Dependants of persons with UK ancestry

This is perhaps the most privileged immigration category in the whole UK immigration system.

Dependants of ancestry visa holders include the partner and children under 18. What sets them apart from dependants of other migrants is that they can join the main visa holder at any time and apply for indefinite leave to remain at the same time as the main applicant. There is no requirement for any probation period and no requirement for minimum stay in the UK, there are no restrictions on absences before applying for ILR.

Moreover, the spouse of a British citizen who held ancestry visa before becoming a British citizen is entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain without the usual drag of the spouse visa and without the requirement to have spent five years in the UK.

However, if the main applicant does not meet the requirement for ILR due to excessive absences, dependent family members cannot apply in their own right. The usual way forward is to extend the ancestry visa for an additional stretch of five years. If the main applicant still does not meet the residence requirements, the dependent family members may have the option of applying for indefinite leave to remain under the long residence rule.

UKBA information page

Home Office Guidance on UK ancestry visa

Calculating continuous period of residence in the UK

Related Services
on this page
Where & how to apply
Eligibility for ILR
Dependants of persons with UK ancestry
How we can help with UK ancestry visa

How immigration solicitors can help with your application for ancestry visa

Consultation to answer your questions and advise on the best immigration strategy

We may help to confirm that you meet the requirements of the immigration rules for the ancestry visa route and suggest the best strategy if you are planning to bring your family to the UK with you. You may wish to travel together with your family members or, perhaps, the main applicant may wish to arrive first and make the necessary arrangements for the rest of the family. Whatever your concerns, we are happy to discuss your case and answer any questions.

Full representation in ancestry visa applications

You may wish to appoint a legal representative in order to save time on the preparation of the application and make sure your application is approved with the least hassle.

If you do not have the required proof of relation we may help with the search of the national archives for the necessary birth certificates.

We have 100% success rate in this type of applications and happy to give you peace of mind and confidence in the outcome. 

Document checking service

If you have prepared the application yourself but wish someone to go over it and makes sure you have not missed out anything, we are happy to offer this service for ancestry visa entry clearance applications, extension of stay and applications for ILR. 

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