Visit the UK on a UK Ancestry Visa

A UK Ancestry Visa allows certain people with British ancestry to visit the UK for up to 5 years to live, study, and work (as a volunteer, self-employed or in a job). You may also bring your partner or other dependants if they are eligible. 

You can only apply for this visa if you are: 

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

If you are granted the UK Ancestry Visa and live in the UK for the full 5 years that it is valid, you may become eligible to apply to extend your visa for a further 5 years or even apply to settle permanently in the UK (‘indefinite leave to remain’).

You cannot switch to this visa nor use it to access public funds

UK Ancestry Visa eligibility requirements

To be eligible to apply for the UK Ancestry visa, there are further requirements you will need to meet in order to be approved.

You should expect to be asked to provide:

  • Evidence that you are at least 17 years old
  • Evidence that one of your grandparents was born either in: the UK; the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man; before 31 March 1922 in what is now Ireland; or on a ship or aircraft that was either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government
  • Proof that you have enough funds to support and house yourself (and any dependants you may want to bring with you) in the UK without relying on public funds (i.e. benefits)
    • An example of such evidence could be a recent bank statement (no older than 31 days from the time you lodge your application) showing that you have a sufficient amount of savings available
  • Evidence that you are able to work and plan to work in the UK
    • This could be a job offer or a business plan 
  • Evidence of your relationship with any dependants (partner and/or children) you want to bring with you
    • Any dependants will also need to lodge their own visa application to come to the UK with you
  • A copy of your current passport (with a blank page for your visa) or another valid travel document
  • A copy of your full birth certificate
  • A copy of the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
  • Evidence if your parent or grandparent has changed their name since birth
  • Evidence if you or your parent is adopted
  • Your tuberculosis test results (if you are from a country where the UK requires you to take one before submitting an application)
  • A certified translation of your documents if they are not in English or Welsh

You can still apply for a UK Ancestry Visa if you or your parent/s were adopted, or if your parents or grandparents were unmarried. You cannot apply for a UK Ancestry Visa on the basis of your relationship with a step-parent.

UK Ancestry Visa application process

Applications for a UK Ancestry Visa must be made before you travel to the UK, and need to be lodged no earlier than 3 months before your estimated date of arrival. After you have applied, you can usually expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks.

UK Ancestry Visa costs

The UK Ancestry Visa fee is £637, and is payable when you submit your application. You may also have to pay a healthcare surcharge for each year that the visa is valid. The precise amount owed will vary depending on the specific circumstances of each applicant.

If you’re unsure if this visa is right for you or how to apply, or have any other questions, you can seek advice from one of our qualified migration agents below.

Neveen Galal

Neveen is a UK Immigration Solicitor with over 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law. She represents corporate and individual clients seeking assistance with any visa category to the UK. Neveen is a graduate of Westminster University, from which she was awarded the 2021 Westminster Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.

Neveen’s rapid career trajectory saw her progress at pace from paralegal to Head of Department level, and then to earning a place on her firm’s Board of Directors by the age of 28. This achievement was recognised by Who’s Who placing her in their directory of ‘Britain’s Business Elite’ in 2008. Neveen then went on to establish her own boutique Immigration Law Firm in the City of London in 2015. She also co-founded the Hexagon Legal Network in 2017.

Neveen is passionate about all aspects of UK immigration law, and is committed to providing bespoke residence and citizenship solutions to citizens across the globe that wish to relocate to the UK. Neveen’s immigration advisory services are predominately geared towards highly skilled workers and companies wishing to have a UK presence, however she and her team of experienced immigration advisors can also assist with partner-based applications, student visas and all other personal and business immigration matters.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.