UK Ancestry Visa Pathway: A Guide 

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A UK Ancestry visa is a type of visa granted to individuals who have ancestors in the UK. However, the visa is only available to commonwealth citizens, British overseas citizens, British nationals (overseas), British overseas territories citizens, and citizens of Zimbabwe. This visa will be available within 3 weeks if the applicant meets the relevant criteria. The cost of the visa is approximately  £637. Keep reading to learn more about the UK Ancestry Visa: eligibility criteria, visa fees, permitted activities, the application process, and more.

Visa Name UK Ancestry Visa 
Validity5 years
Processing Time3 weeks 

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Application Process 

The UK ancestry visa must be applied 3 months before the intended travel to the United Kingdom. To apply for the UK visa the applicant must have to register an appointment at the visa application centre. Note: the application centre can keep the passport/documents while processing the application. Further steps will be provided when the application is made.

The application for this visa can be made by visiting the official website of the UK government. After the applicant has proved his/her identity, and provided documents the results will be declared. The visa application processing time for the UK ancestry visa is approximately 3 weeks.

Eligibility Criteria 

The eligibility criteria for the UK Ancestry visa are as follows. Note: the applicants must prove that their 1 or more grandparents were born in the UK,  the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands.

  • The applicant must at least be 17 years of age or over 
  • The applicant must have enough money to fund themselves and their dependents 
  • Moreover, the applicant must be able to and want to work in the UK 
  • The applicant must prove that his/her grandparents were born in any of the circumstances. That is, the ancestor was born in the UK/Isle of Man, or Channel Islands, the date of birth must be before 31 March 1922 in what is now Ireland, or the born on a ship or aircraft that was either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government
  • The application for the UK ancestry visa will still be considered if the applicant or the parent were adopted, or the parents or grandparents were not married. However, it is not possible to apply for an ancestor visa through step-parents.

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Permitted & Non-Permitted Activities Under the UK Ancestry Visa

The following are the permitted and non-permitted activities under the UK Ancestry visa. 

Permitted Activities Non-Permitted Activities 
Study in the UK Change (‘switch’) into this visa if you came to the UK on a different visa
Work in the UK ( paid or voluntary, full-time/part-time, self-employment,  a job where the applicant is employed by someone else)Access  public funds
Bring your partner or child

Working while living in the UK can be an incredible Idea;. Check out this blog to learn about the Part-Time Jobs in UK for International Students

Details of UK Ancestry Visa for Your Partner and Children

There are several things to keep in mind while applying for a UK Ancestry visa for your partner and children. For example, eligibility requirements, documentation, and more. These details are provided below:

  1. A dependent is categorized as the applicant’s partner, a child under the age of 18, or a child aged 18 or over who was previously on your or your partner’s visa as a dependant. 
  2. The applicant must be able to prove (partner): The applicant is in a civil partnership or marriage that is recognized in the UK, or must be living together in a relationship for at least 2 years 
  3. The applicant must be able to prove (for the child): live with you (unless they’re in full-time education at boarding school, college, or university), not be married, in a civil partnership, or have any children be supported by you without using public funds
  4. The dependents must provide the biometric information at the visa application center as a part of their application
  5. Children born while you’re in the UK will not be considered British citizens. Therefore, applications must be made to classify them as ‘dependents’ before they turn 18.
  6. In case the applicant switches or extends their visa the dependents will have to do the same at the same time as you or any time before their current visa expires to legally stay in the UK. However, the dependents will not be allowed to switch the visa if they are already on another visa. For example, a short-term study visa

Documents Required

Below are the documents required to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa.

  • Passport/valid travel document
  • Birth certificate
  • The birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim
  • Provide a business plan if you’re self-employed
  • Provide bank statements,  proof of funds to support even the dependents 

Additional Documents 

Depending on the circumstances the applicant would have to provide additional documents. These documents are as follows:

  • Proof of TB test results 
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificates or a deed poll
  • Proof that your parents or grandparents have changed their name since birth. For example, legal adoption papers
  • Marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document if your spouse or civil partner wants to join you in the UK

Fees, Duration, and Processing Time 

The fees, duration, and processing time are as follows:

UK Ancestry Visa Fees£637.
UK Ancestry Visa  Duration5 years 
UK Ancestry Visa  Processing Time 3 weeks 


Who qualifies for an ancestry visa to the UK?

Applicants who are 17 years of age or older and are citizens of a commonwealth country can apply. Moreover, the applicant must have a grandparent born in the Channel Islands. In the UK, or the Isle of Man. 

What tier is a UK ancestry visa?

A tier 4 Ancestry visa is granted to individuals who have ancestors in the UK. Moreover, the individual must belong to a commonwealth country. Those interested in applying for an ancestry visa must meet the eligibility criteria for the visa, and provide the necessary documents. 

How do I become a British citizen with ancestry?

As per the UK immigration rules, a person can claim British citizenship, if he/she has a grandparent born in the UK.  It is also called British Citizenship by descent. Those who have great-grandparents born in the UK can apply for  British Citizenship by double descent.

We hope you now understand what a UK Ancestry Visa is, its requirements, the application process, etc. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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