UK Ancestry visa

1. Overview

You can apply for a UK Ancestry visa if you:

  • are a Commonwealth citizen
  • are applying from outside the UK
  • are able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK
  • are able and planning to work in the UK
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

Your UK Ancestry visa will cost £324.

You may also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for 5 years on this visa.

You can apply to extend your visa.

You can also apply to settle in the UK permanently.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work
  • study
  • bring family members

You can’t:

  • change (‘switch’) into this visa if you’re already in the UK on another visa
  • get public funds

2. Eligibility

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

Your ancestry

You must also show that you have a grandparent born in 1 of the following circumstances:

  • in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
  • before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
  • on a British-registered ship or aircraft

You can claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent:

  • were adopted
  • were born within or outside marriage in the UK

You can’t claim UK ancestry through step-parents.

3. Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport size colour photograph
  • bank statements to show you’ve enough money to support yourself
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

Ancestry documents

You’ll also need to provide:

  • your full birth certificate
  • your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document if your husband, wife or civil partner wants to join you
  • the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
  • marriage certificates for your parents and grandparents and legal adoption papers if you or your parents are adopted

Read the guide for a full list of documents you can provide.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

4. Apply

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a UK Ancestry visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

You may also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application centre.

North Korea

You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea.

To apply from North Korea you must:

  • download the application form and form guidance
  • read the instructions for North Korea on how to apply

Apply in the UK

You can only extend this visa if you’re already in the UK.

5. Extend your visa

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend – including children who have turned 18 during your stay.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You can also apply to settle in the UK permanently if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years on this visa.

How long you can stay

You can extend your visa for a further 5 years.

Fees

You pay:

  • £649 if you apply to extend your visa by post
  • £1,049 if you apply in person using the premium service

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

For example:

Who you’re applying for Apply by post Apply in person
You £649 £1,049
All dependants £649 £1,049

How to extend your visa

You should read the full guidance before filling in the form.

Within the UK you can:

  • download the form and apply by post – the address is on the form
  • download the form and use the premium service at a premium service centre

You’ll need to get a biometric residence permit as part of your application.

How long it takes

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for postal applications
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances (eg if you have a criminal conviction)

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

6. Family members

Your family members (‘dependants’) must apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

They may also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application. Check how much they’ll have to pay before they apply.

Dependants applying outside the UK

Your family members must apply online.

They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of their application.

They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they’re in – check with the visa application centre.

North Korea

Your family members can’t apply online if they’re from North Korea.

To apply from North Korea they must:

  • download the form and form guidance
  • read the instructions on how to apply

Dependants applying in the UK

Your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK. They should apply using the dependant application form.

It’s best to send your dependant’s application at the same time as yours but they can apply at a later date.

Members of your family can’t apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.

Complete the application form and send a full UK birth certificate showing the names of both of your child’s parents.

Leave a Comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Linkdin
Hide Buttons