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How to apply for a UK Ancestry visa

People from Commonwealth countries often ask whether they can get a British visa on the basis of their country’s historical ties to the UK. The answer is, generally speaking, “no”. But there is one route which is open only to, although not to all, Commonwealth nationals: the UK Ancestry visa.

This post sets out the main requirements of the UK Ancestry route.

Who can apply for a UK Ancestry visa?

As mentioned above, the Ancestry visa route is only open to Commonwealth nationals. Not all Commonwealth nationals qualify, though. The basic eligibility criteria are found in paragraphs 186 to 193 of Part 5 of the Immigration Rules.

The applicant must:

1. Be a Commonwealth national

2. Be 17 years old or over

3. Have at least one grandparent born in the UK or Islands; Ireland (if before 31 March 1922); or, in certain circumstances, on a British-registered ship or aircraft

4. Be able to work and intend to seek employment or work in the UK; and

5. Be able to “maintain and accommodate” himself or herself and any dependant in the UK, without recourse to public funds

In addition, as with most routes, applicants must ensure that they do not fall foul of the general grounds for refusal, found at Part 9 of the Immigration Rules.

If you think you might be affected or fall under this route, get in touch with us here and one of specialist will get back to you.

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