UK Ancestry VISA

It’s quite common for people from Commonwealth nations to wonder whether they can get a UK visa based on their country’s historical ties to Great Britain. While this isn’t technically possible, there are other ways you can obtain a UK visa.

If you have blood ties to the UK, whether that be a grandparent or parent, you could try applying for a UK Ancestry Visa, and here is how to do it.

What You Need to Know Before Applying for a UK Ancestry VISA

People from the Commonwealth, British overseas citizens, and Zimbabwean citizens can apply for a UK Ancestry visa. However, even if you meet those requirements, you’ll still have to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands.

There are also additional eligibility requirements to consider.

Once you’ve figured out whether you’re eligible, it’s time to consider the costs. A UK Ancestry visa currently costs around £531. You might also need to pay a healthcare surcharge and you would need to apply at least 3 months before you plan on traveling.

You should receive word on whether your application has been approved within 3 weeks. However, if you can’t wait that long, you could opt for paying extra for a faster turnover rate.

Your visa should allow you to live in the UK for 5 years with the option of extending your stay.

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How to Apply for a UK Ancestry VISA

Applying for a UK Ancestry Visa can take a bit of legwork but in our experience, it shouldn’t be too complicated. Here’s what you need to do:

Gather the Proper Documentation

The first thing you need to do is gather the documents. You’ll need your passport, identification documents like a birth certificate, or national identity card, and proof of registry.

You’ll also need evidence of your current employment status. This could be a formal letter from your employer, a payslip, or business registration documents. If you’re still a student, you can provide evidence of your studies such as an admission letter, academic transcripts, or qualifications.

Additional documents you’ll need include:

  • Evidence of your finances: We recommend you gather your bank statements but make sure they meet the requirements outlined in the points-based policy guidance related to your application.
  • Evidence of any properties and assets: This can be mortgage statements or property deeds of properties you own.
  • Evidence of your travel arrangements, UK accommodation, or sponsorships: Here, you’ll need to gather any documents related to your travel arrangements. This could be your flight information, travel agent documents, or accommodation bookings. If you have a UK sponsor, you’ll likely need a letter of invitation so you should prepare that too.
  • Evidence of Intent to Work: Last, and most importantly, you’ll need evidence of UK Ancestry. Now, you’ll need the birth certificate of your parent but only the parent of the grandparent that you’re applying through and the birth certificate of your grandparent.

Just a heads up you might also need a marriage certificate if your heritage is unclear. For example, if your surname doesn’t match the surname on your parent’s birth certificate. If you can’t prove your ancestry using birth certificates, you’ll need marriage certificates and adoption papers.

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We recommend you get certified copies of all these documents and keep them on hand.

Complete and Submit the Application Form

Next, you’ll want to complete the online application form. Now, to access the application form, you’ll have to visit the gov.uk.website. This website should direct you to the right place based on the country you’re applying from.

The UK Ancestry application has a few basic questions that you’ll have to answer and once you’re done, you’ll need to pay the application fee. Once your application fee has been processed, you’ll get a booking confirmation for your biometric appointment.

Booking the biometric appointment might be tricky since there are only a set amount of appointments open so keep your eyes peeled and check in regularly.

The Biometric Appointment

Once you’ve booked your biometric appointment, be sure to prepare the following documents to take along:

  • A printout of your online application
  • A copy of your biometric appointment information
  • All supporting documentation (see the list above)

The application center will take your fingerprints and photos. They’ll also scan the documents you’ve brought along. Once your application has been processed, the center will post your passport along with your visa.

Wait for Your Application to be Processed

All that’s left is to wait for your visa application to be approved. As we mentioned, it could take around 3 weeks after lodging your application but this depends on your country. If you’d like a faster turnover, you could opt for paying an extra fee as well. If all goes well, you’ll be immigrating to the UK in no time.

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