What is a UK Ancestry visa?
Ancestry visa is currently the ‘friendliest’ visa there is in the UK immigration law after Brexit. The UK Ancestry visa allows the grandchildren (and their families) of British citizens to come, live and work in the UK.
The children of British nationals who are born overseas cannot pass on their citizenship as easily. There is no automatic entitlement. The entitlement is automatic if the child is born in the UK to a parent who is British or British by descent.
British by descent are children of British nationals who are born overseas. British nationals by descent cannot pass their British citizenship to their own children if they are born overseas as easily. It is a privilege, which is not automatic.
Therefore, the Ancestry visa route is designed to enable the grandchildren of British nationals (usually, mainland British nationals) to come, live and work in the UK.
Typically, these grandchildren will not be entitled to immediate British citizenship, but are allowed to come, live and work in the land of their grandparents.
It is almost as if the country of the forefathers is welcoming the next generation to come, live and work in the UK.
If your entitlement to UK Ancestry visa is clear, the Ancestry visa should be your first choice
The entitlement to the UK Ancestry visa is proven through the birth and marriage certificates of the parents and grandparents.
The documents are usually old and fragile as some of them go as far as and more than 100 years back into the family history.
Family tree is recreated through the birth and marriage certificates. It is an exciting process for everyone involved. It is the precious family history that is being recreated.
Typically, you have an English grandparent born in mainland UK. At some point in their life leaving the UK and travelling to a Commonwealth country.
There are 54 Commonwealth countries.
Please note that only citizens of the Commonwealth countries are eligible to apply for the UK Ancestry visa.
Therefore, if you are a European (EU/EEA) or Swiss national, you will not be eligible to apply for the UK Ancestry visa. If you are a European (EU/EEA) or Swiss national, your UK visa options are listed here.
1. UK ANCESTRY VISA: ONLY THE CITIZENS OF COMMONWEALTH MAY APPLY
The UK Ancestry visa is only open to the citizens of 54 Commonwealth countries who can demonstrate that they are the grandchildren of the British nationals born in mainland UK.
2. THE DURATION OF THE VISA: UK ANCESTRY VISA
A UK Ancestry visa is issued for the duration of 5 years.
3. INDEFINITE LEAVE TO REMAIN
The indefinite leave to remain is achieved within the first 5 years of legal residence in the UK under the Ancestry visa route, provided all requirements are met.
4. APPLYING FOR CITIZENSHIP: BRITISH ANCESTRY VISA
Once you obtain your indefinite leave to remain and complete 5 years of residence, you are eligible to apply for British citizenship.
You will become eligible to apply for British citizenship once you complete 12 months of residence after you receive your indefinite leave to remain.
Please note that you have to have completed 5 years of residence and have a 12 months of residence after the indefinite leave to remain is received in order to be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
5. ANCESTRY VISA ALLOW TO BRING YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS TO THE UK
A UK Ancestry visa allows you to bring your family to the UK.
The family typically consists of the spouse and children who are less than 18 years old at the time of their application.
Family applications are processed at the same time as for the main applicant. Therefore, the whole family may apply together at the same time.
Be mindful if your children are turning 18 at the time of your visa application
As long as your children are concerned. They are able to join you in the same visa category provided they are under 18 at the time you submit your own and your family’s application.
Once your children turn 18, they are required to apply in their own right and can no longer be your dependent for UK visa purposes.
What happens when Your UK Visa is rejected?
UK visa application is a detailed and demanding process and I encourage you not to leave this complex process to chance.
Working with a qualified professional may reduce the chances of your UK visa application and endorsement being rejected. It is important that you work with a duly qualified, authorised and experienced professional.
If you missed the step of working with a duly authorised professional or your UK visa application was rejected anyway, depending on the reasons why your application was rejected, you may still be eligible to apply again.
This time you will need to make sure that your application is well prepared and you address Home Office’s concerns.
The worst you can do is do nothing. Non-action will endorse Home Office’s decision and will leave a poor UK immigration record, which can cause hardship and impediments later.
Work with a Qualified and Authorised Professional to secure your UK visa
You will be first guided to a payment page when you choose “book a call” option. After making the payment, you will be able to choose the most convenient date and time for our Zoom meeting. You can report a payment issue here.
Saule Voluckyte, M.A.E.S, LL.B, FAIA
I have been working exclusively with UHNWI in Mayfair, London since January 2008. I built specialist knowledge and expertise required to serve ultra high net worth individuals investing, operating and relocating to the UK or Switzerland.
Within the industry, I am the single adviser who is able to traverse the different areas of expertise and bring a comprehensive approach across: global structuring, UK immigration, international taxation and FOREX to develop their global wealth strategy, while they build, grow and expand their wealth worldwide.
Previous experience as one of the senior advisors for the government, made me a go-to person when delicate and uncomfortable scenarios involving heads of state need to be handled with care and preserve privacy.