UK Ancestry Visa: A Guide for Commonwealth Citizens

Are you a Commonwealth citizen who had a grandparent born in the UK? If yes then you may be eligible to apply for a UK Ancestry visa, which allows you to live and work in the UK for a period of 5 years followed by settling in the U.K. Many applicants can also bring their partners and children with them. We will explain the eligibility criteria of how to apply, and most importantly benefits of obtaining a UK Ancestry visa.

What is a UK Ancestry visa?

The U.K Ancestry visa grants you the right to live and work in the UK based upon your ancestral connection to the UK. You are eligible to apply for this visa if you are one of the following:

  • a Commonwealth citizen
  • a British overseas citizen
  • a British overseas territories citizen
  • a British national (overseas)
  • a citizen of Zimbabwe

Furthermore, you must also provide evidence that one of your grandparents was born within either:  

  • the UK 
  • the Channel Islands
  • the Isle of Man
  • today’s Ireland before 1922
  • a ship or aircraft which was registered in the UK or owned by the UK government

To prove the status of your grandparent, you can provide birth certificates or other official records to fulfil this condition.

Additional eligibility requirements

To qualify for a UK Ancestry visa, you must also:

  • be 17 years or older
  • be capable of financially sustaining yourself and possible dependents without relying on public funds
  • intend to work in the UK (either employed or self-employed)

You do not require an employment offer or a sponsor to apply for this visa.

Applying for a UK Ancestry visa

All Applications must be made online for the UK Ancestry visa before travelling to the U.K. The associated government application fee is currently £531, and you may also have to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

As a part of the application process, an appointment at a visa application centre will be booked. This is where you will need to prove your identity and provide various documents such as:

  • your current passport or travel document
  • evidence of your UK-born grandparent
  • proof of your financial situation
  • confirmation of your intention to work in the UK

After your biometric appointment, you should receive a decision within three weeks. Ancestry visa applications can be submitted at the earliest three months before travelling. Depending on where you are applying from, faster decisions (priority service) may be offered as an additional service.

The benefits of the UK Ancestry visa

A successful UK Ancestry visa application permits you to live and work in the UK for up to 5 years. Furthermore, this visa type allows you to study, travel, and access several public services. It also permits you to bring your partner or children with you if they meet the specific requirements under the Immigration Rules. 

After living in the UK for five years on the UK Ancestry visa you may be eligible to either:

  • apply to extend your visa for up to five years OR
  • apply to permanently settle in the UK (known as applying for indefinite leave to remain)

To settle permanently, you must again meet certain requirements, such as passing an English language test and demonstrating that you have been employed or actively searching for employment for the last five years.

How Axis Solicitors Can Help You

Applying for a UK Ancestry visa can be a complex and time-consuming process. You must gather the correct documentation, complete the online application form accurately, and attend a biometric appointment at a visa application centre. The applicant must also stay updated with this visa category’s latest rules and regulations. Mistakes or omissions in an application can cause delays, rejections, or possibly refusals.

That is why you can benefit from the help of professional and experienced immigration solicitors. At Axis Solicitors, we have a team of dedicated experts who specialise in UK immigration. We have helped many remote clients worldwide who acquire visas to settle in the UK successfully.

We offer varying legal services such as:

  • Free initial consultation to assess your eligibility and circumstances to advise you on the best route.
  • Full application service, where we handle every aspect of your application from start to finish.
  • Document checking service, where we review your documents and ensure they meet the requirements.
  • Interview preparation service, where we coach you in presenting yourself more confidently during the interview.
  • Appeal service, where we represent you in case your application is refused or challenged.
  • Tailored service to ensure your visa is successful. 

We also provide ongoing support and guidance throughout your residence in the UK. Assisting you to extend your visa, apply for British citizenship, or deal with other legal aspects of your new life.

As expert solicitors, we are proud of our high success rate and excellent reviews. Axis Solicitors remain determined to provide quality legal service and continue to achieve positive outcomes for all clients. We are transparent and honest about our fees, which you can view on our website (Our Fees).

Contact us today to get your process started.

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