UK ancestry visa

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What is the UK Ancestry Visa?

An ancestry visa is a visa that will allow a Commonwealth citizen with ancestral links to the United Kingdom to live in the UK. As such, if your application for an Ancestry Visa is successful, under your conditions of stay you will be allowed to work and study in the UK. You will also be allowed to bring family members to live with you.

There are generally no restrictions under an Ancestry Visa as to the type of work you can undertake. You may wish to work in an employed role for a UK employer or, alternatively, you may want to establish your own business to enable you to work for yourself.

Note also that Ancestry Visa holders must show they can accommodate and financially support themselves, as they are ineligible to access public funds in the UK.

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Who is eligible?

  • You are aged 17 and over
  • You are a Commonwealth citizen
  • You are able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK and Islands
  • You are able and planning to work in the UK
  • You are able to satisfy the maintenance and accommodation requirement, ie; you have sufficient funds without recourse to public funds to support and house yourself and any dependants

To satisfy the “ancestry” requirement, you must show that you have a grandparent born in any one of the following circumstances:

In the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man Before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland On a British-registered ship or aircraft

Please note that the birth of a grandparent in a British colony or a military base overseas will not make you eligible for an ancestry visa. You can, however, still claim ancestry even if either you or the relevant parent were adopted, or born outside marriage in the UK. That said, UK ancestry cannot be claimed through step-parents.

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