UK Ancestry Visas Explained

UK Ancestry Visas Explained

The UK Ancestry Visa remains one of the most popular immigration routes to the UK. Provided of course that you are one of those persons fortunate enough to have a British born grandparent.

UK Ancestry Visas Explained

To quash some misconceptions about the UK Ancestry Visa, the consultants at BIC have provided some general guidelines on this UK Visa type.  

How to Qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa 

To qualify for this type of visa you have to be a Commonwealth Citizen, 17 years of age or older, and 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.

Good news for Zimbabwean readers is that although Zimbabwe is no longer part of the Commonwealth, Zimbabwean nationals are considered by the UK Home Office as such for UK Ancestry applications.

The grandparent can be on your mother or father’s side of the family. Adopted children also qualify, as well as cases where the parent through whom a person is claiming ancestry is an adopted child.

It is not possible to claim Ancestry through stepparents.

Length Granted for UK Ancestry Visa 

The UK Ancestry Visa is granted for five years. After successfully completing a five-year period as the holder of the UK Ancestry Visa, you will be able to apply for UK Permanent Residence, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Provided of course that you meet the relevant requirements.

Should you not meet the requirements for ILR, you may submit an application for the extension of your UK Ancestry Visa till you can meet the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

A Second UK Ancestry Visa 

Clients sometimes end up in situations where they have to return to their home countries for whatever reason, and the UK Ancestry Visa expires during this time. Fortunately, it is possible fo apply for another UK Ancestry Visa from your home country.

The period spent on your first UK Ancestry Visa, will however not count towards your qualifying time for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

The UK Ancestry Visa and Age Limits 

To apply for the UK Ancestry Visa, the applicant must be 17 years of age or older. You also have to prove an intention and ability to work in the UK under the Ancestry Visa. Subject to this, there is no upper age limit.

Work Restrictions and the UK Ancestry Visa 

One of the main rules of the UK Ancestry Visa is that you must be able to work and intend to work while in the UK. If it is not your intention to work, and you confirm this in your application, the application will be refused.

Furthermore, to be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years on this type of UK Visa, you must be able to provide evidence that they have indeed been working during the five years of their visa.

The Visa has no work restrictions. You will thus be able to open your own business, or take up employment or even combine the two.

Dependants and Partners 

The UK Ancestry Visa holder can apply for his/her Spouse, Civil Partner or Unmarried Partner and any dependent children under the age of eighteen years to join them in the UK. They will receive the same period of leave as the main applicant and be able to work without restriction.

For more information in your unique circumstances, please feel free to contact one of the OISC registered BIC consultants today. They will be happy to assist. or


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