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Private Individual Immigration

UK Ancestry Visa


The UK Ancestry visa route is available to Commonwealth citizens who are over the age of 17, who can demonstrate they have a grandparent who was born in the UK and who have the intention to work in the UK.   

We can advise you of the eligibility requirements and help you prepare your application so you can obtain a visa which when granted will be valid for five years.   

Once you have held the visa for five years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after which you could naturalise as a British citizen.  

“The team makes it very easy to ask questions and understand the advice given.” 

Legal 500

FAQs Ancestry Visa

The UK Ancestry visa is a type of visa available to certain individuals who have a grandparent born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. This visa allows these individuals to reside in the UK for up to 5 years; at the end of which they can apply for settlement in the UK.

You can apply for a UK Ancestry visa if you’re one of the following:

Processing times vary depending on several factors, including the country you are applying from, the volume of applications being processed at the time, and individual circumstances. At present, processing times for UK Ancestry visa applications submitted in-country are up to 8 weeks, and submitted outside the UK, are approximately 3 weeks (following the date of the biometric appointment).

No, a job offer is not required to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa.

To apply for a UK Ancestry visa, you must prove that you:

  • are 17 or over
  • have enough money without help from public funds to support and house yourself and any dependants
  • can and plan to work in the UK

You must also show that you have a grandparent born in one of the following circumstances:

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

A UK Ancestry visa is normally valid for a period of 5 years. During this time, you are allowed to work and live in the UK without any restrictions.

At the expiry of the 5 years, you may be able to either:

You can extend your UK Ancestry visa as many times as you like, as long as you still satisfy the eligibility requirements.

When applying for a UK Ancestry visa, you will generally need to submit original documents or certified copies of certain documents as part of your application. However, the specific requirements can vary based on the country you are applying from and individual circumstances.

When applying for a UK Ancestry visa, you will be required to provide the following documents:

  1. A current passport or another valid travel document with at least one blank visa page.
  2. Your complete birth certificate.
  3. Full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent on whom your ancestry claim is based.
  4. Evidence of your intent to work in the UK, which could include job offers or a business plan if you are self-employed.
  5. Proof of financial capability to support yourself and any dependents in the UK, such as bank statements dated within 31 days of your application submission.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also need to provide the following:

  1. Evidence of name changes for your parents or grandparents, such as marriage or civil partnership certificates or a deed poll.
  2. Legal adoption papers if you or your parents are adopted.
  3. Tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where taking a TB test is mandatory.

If your spouse or civil partner wishes to join you in the UK, you will need to submit your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document.

Key contacts

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

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+44 118 960 4605

Rebecca Hone

Senior Associate

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+44 20 7539 8019

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