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UK Ancestry visas: 5 Common Questions

15 August 2018 James Ritchie Personal Immigration

If you are considering applying for a UK Ancestry visa, you may have read the basic application requirements on the Government webpage.

It is stated that to be eligible for an ancestry visa, you must be a Commonwealth citizen and able to show that you have a grandparent born:

  • in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; or
  • before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland; or
  • on a British-registered ship or aircraft

You must also be 17 years or above, have enough money to support yourself and any dependants without help from public funds, and have the ability and intention to work in the UK.

Whilst the requirements and published guidance tease a less onerous visa route, the Home Office do not provide specific guidance on all required evidence. It is therefore critical to understand what the Home Office are looking for, so as to avoid the financial loss of an application fee which may be taken simply to refuse your application.

1. I can’t fund accommodation myself, family members are willing to help. Is this acceptable?

Yes, this is acceptable. A family member, unmarried partner, or even a friend may provide your accommodation. This, however, comes with a caveat, in that the beneficiary must declare their intention to support you in your application and provide financial documents to evidence their statement.

2. Can I bring my dependants?

Yes, a dependant may apply to join the main applicant if they are a partner, a child under 18, or a child over 18 who is currently a dependant. A number of points to remark on:

  • Each dependant will have to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge as part of their application;
  • eligibility criteria for dependants extends to both adopted children and step-children; and
  • when evidencing available funds, the figure must equate to the amount of dependents you intend to bring along.

3. I know my grandparent is British, but I don’t have the birth certificate. Am I still eligible?

Whilst many of the requirements under paragraph 186 of the Immigration Rules could be considered broad, the rules on providing ancestry documents are definitive. You must be able to provide:

  • Your own full birth certificate;
  • the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on; and
  • your marriage certificate if you’re spouse is applying as a dependant.

4. I don’t have a job lined up, but know what type of employment I will seek in the UK. Will I be refused?

Your application does not stand or fall depending on whether you have employment guaranteed before applying. However, it is worth keeping in mind that you must evidence your intention to work somehow – i.e. job offers you’ve received proof of registration with recruitment companies, etc.

5. Can I extend before my Ancestry visa expires?

Yes, for a further five years, but it is work noting that by this point it is likely that you will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, should you satisfy certain requirements and wish to apply.

Contact our specialist immigration lawyers 

If you would like more information tailed to your situation, we offer consultations and a full application service to provide advice and assistance on the best course of action to take to secure your position the UK, please fill out our online enquiry form.

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