• United Kingdom

    Helpline No.

    (+44) 0203 4882 308

Ancestry Visa

The UK Ancestry visa entitles a Commonwealth citizen, who has a grandparent born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man to gain entry to the UK. The visa will permit you to take up or seek employment and eventually settle in the UK.

The main advantage of the UK Ancestry visa is that there are no work restrictions. At the end of a five-year period on this visa, you can qualify to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

How to Qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa

You must be a Commonwealth citizen, 17 years of age or older. You must be able to prove that you have a grandparent who was born in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. This grandparent can be on either side of your family.

A person can also apply for the UK Ancestry visa if they are adopted. Or if the parent through whom they are claiming ancestry is an adopted child. You can also claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent were born within or outside marriage in the UK. It is however not possible to claim UK ancestry through step-parents.

You must intend to work and be able to work. You must be able to support and accommodate yourself and any dependents without using public funds.

You must apply for your visa in the country of which you are a national or where you legally live.

Documents required

You should include all the documents you can to show that you qualify for entry to the UK through UK Ancestry. This should include :

  • Your full birth certificate
  • Your marriage certificate, if you are married, and
  • The full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent through whose ancestry you are making your application.

You will also need the marriage certificates of your parents and grandparents, and legal adoption papers if you or your parents are adopted.

Spouses and Dependants

An Ancestry visa holder can apply for their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and dependent children to join them in the UK. The dependents will be granted the same period of leave as the main applicant. They will also be able to work without restriction.

Length of Stay and Right to Work

The visa is granted for a period of five years.

There are no work restrictions on the holder of the Ancestry visa and their dependents. Note, however, that in order to be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, the applicant must be able to provide evidence that they have been working during the five years of their UK Ancestry visa.

There is no recourse to public funds.

Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

At the end of successful completion of a five-year period on a UK Ancestral visa, the holder can apply for permanent residence, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

If you do not meet the criteria to apply for permanent residence, you may apply to extend your Ancestry visa.

Further information, help, and advice

Our team of specialists have years of experience in visa services. We work with clients under Section 84 of the 1999 Immigration Act and can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or email us at

Worldwide Immigration
Worldwide Immigration