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The UK Ancestry route allows Commonwealth citizens who can prove they have a grandparent born in the UK or Islands to live and work in the UK.
Applying under the ancestry route
You can apply for a UK Ancestry visa if all of the following are true:
you’re a Commonwealth citizen
you can prove one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
you’re able and planning to work in the UK
you meet the other eligibility requirements
Benefits of the ancestry route
You can live, work and study in the UK, without restrictions. You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you’ve spent 5 years in the UK on a UK Ancestry visa.
You must prove that you:
are 17 or over
have enough money without help from public funds to support and house yourself and any dependants
can and plan to work in the UK
You must show that you have a grandparent born in one of the following circumstances:
in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
before 31 March 1922 in what is now Ireland
on a ship or aircraft that was either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government
You can claim ancestry if:
you or your parent were adopted
your parents or grandparents were not married
You cannot claim UK ancestry through step-parents.
Documents you must provide
When you apply you’ll need to provide:
a current passport (with a blank page for your visa) or another valid travel document
your full birth certificate
the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
evidence that you’re planning to work in the UK, for example job offers you’ve received or a business plan if you’re self-employed
evidence, such as bank statements, that prove you can support yourself and any dependants in the UK - it must be dated within 31 days from when you submit your application
Depending on your circumstances, you might also need to provide:
evidence that your parents or grandparents have changed their name since birth, for example marriage or civil partnership certificates or a deed poll
legal adoption papers if you or your parents are adopted
your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take a TB test
your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document if your spouse or civil partner wants to join you in the UK
How to apply
You must apply online for a UK Ancestry visa before you travel to the UK. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel to the UK.
It costs £2,389 for each person applying. You also need to pay £19.20 per person to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
You’ll usually get a decision within 6 months if you apply using the standard service.
This does not include the mandatory £19.20 biometric enrolment fees.
It cost an additional £800 for super priority processing (24 hour) and £500 for priority processing (5-day processing), where eligible.
You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.