The benefits of the UK Ancestry Visa for Commonwealth citizens

The UK Ancestry visa is a visa application open to citizens of Commonwealth countries under the UK Immigration Rules. This is a high in demand visa as it is not too difficult to obtain and it comes with a number of benefits such as a 5-year visa and permission to work. However, Applicants often struggle to meet the requirements for a UK Ancestry visa as they cannot obtain the mandatory documents required for the application or they have lost the said documents (or in some cases cannot prove family connection). Our immigration team can assist in family tracing and also in recovering lost documents i.e. birth certificates from the relevant authorities ensuring your application has the best chance of success.

What are the requirements for a UK Ancestry visa application?

The UK Ancestry visa application is made under the UK Immigration Rules. The Home Office takes a strict approach in assessing these applications and all the mandatory documents must be provided in their original form. In order to apply for a UK Ancestry visa the following requirements must be met:

  • You must a citizen of a Commonwealth country;
  • You must be at least 17 years of age;
  • You must be able to provide evidence that one of your grandparents were born in the United Kingdom and Islands. In some cases, adopted children may also meet this requirement but the adoption would need to be recognised under UK Law;
  • You must meet the employment requirement;
  • You must be able to maintain and accommodate yourself in the United Kingdom without recourse to any public funds (Applicants cannot claim public funds or benefits).

You can apply for the UK Ancestry visa 3 months before the date you intend on travelling and you should receive a decision within 3 weeks. If you require a fast-tracked decision you can use a super priority visa service to get a decision within 1 working day. If your UK Ancestry visa application is granted, you will be given a 5-year visa. There are a number of permitted activities under this visa such as work (without having the need to apply for a Tier 2 visa), study and apply to bring family members over. However, the visa prohibits you from switching into any other visa.

Translation requirements for documents not in English for UK Ancestry visa application

All documents provided with a UK Ancestry visa application must be in English. If they are not, the Applicant must provide the original and a full translation which has been independently verified. The translation must:

  • confirm that it is an accurate translation of the original document;
  • be dated;
  • include the full name and original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company;
  • include the translator or translation company’s contact details; and
  • be fully certified and include details of the translator or translation company’s credentials, if the applicant is applying in the UK.

The employment requirement in a UK Ancestry visa application

All applicants are required to meet the employment requirement for their UK Ancestry visa application. The Home Office policy guidance explains that Applicants must provide evidence that they can and intend on working in the UK. To meet this requirement Applicants must meet one of the following:

  • Have a job offer in the UK; or
  • Genuinely intend to look for a job (or become self-employed) and are realistically able to do this.

Using Legal Representation to submit a UK Ancestry visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a UK Ancestry visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for a UK Ancestry visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK Ancestry visa application succeeds and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your UK Ancestry visa application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful UK Ancestry visa application under the Immigration Rules

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your UK Ancestry visa application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your UK Ancestry visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a UK Ancestry visa application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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