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Updated March 2023

The Ancestry visa route is ideal for descendants of UK born grandparents who want the opportunity to live and work in the UK without many restrictions. This visa route is very attractive because it leads to permanent residence and later, British citizenship.

At the Nathanson Partnership, we understand that applying for a visa is life-changing and with this in mind, you want to make sure that everything is right with your application before you apply. If you need help with your Ancestry visa application, we are happy to assist you.

Who Can Apply for the Ancestry Visa?

You can apply for the Ancestry visa if you are coming from outside of the UK and fall into one of the following options:

  • Commonwealth citizen- here is a list of all the commonwealth countries.
  • British overseas citizen
  • British overseas territories citizen
  • British national (overseas)
  • Citizen of Zimbabwe

You’ll also need to show that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. If either you or your parent was adopted, you may also be able to claim ancestry. However, if you’re not sure if you are eligible, it is a good idea to check with an immigration expert before applying.

The additional requirements are that you must be over the age of 17 and you have the means to support yourself in the UK by having access to money in your bank account. You’ll also have to demonstrate that you can and plan to work in the UK. Perhaps you have a job offer or you’re self-employed.

How Long Can I Stay in the UK on the Ancestry Visa?

If accepted, you will be granted a visa for 5 years. Before your visa expires, you can either extend the visa, providing you continue to meet the requirements, or you can apply for ILR.

Does the Ancestry Visa Lead To ILR?

Yes, the Ancestry visa leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which means that you can live and work in the UK for as long as you want. To be eligible for ILR, you will need to have been in the UK on the Ancestry route for 5 years. You’ll have to meet the continuous residency requirement of not spending more than 180 days in any 12-month period outside of the UK. Unless you’re from a majority English-speaking country, you will need to meet an English language requirement either by having a degree taught in English or passing a UKVI-approved English test at level B1. You must also pass the Life in The UK Test. It can take around 6 months to get a decision on your ILR application, but if you pay an extra £800, you can get a faster decision within 2 working days.

How Can The Nathanson Partnership Help You?

At The Nathanson Partnership, we can help you apply for your Ancestry visa. Providing you meet the requirements we’ve mentioned above, we can help you gather everything you need to show to the Home Office that you’re eligible for this visa.

We provide a full Ancestry visa service whereby we prepare and review your application and guide you through the whole process from ensuring your documents meet Home Office standards to submitting your application.

Please contact us for a free initial assessment with our qualified and experienced UK immigration advisors.

Contact Our Expert Ancestry Visa Immigration Professionals

The Nathanson Partnership is made up of regulated immigration professionals providing immigration advice that is accurate and reliable. We are fully accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) which means that our practices must adhere to high-quality immigration service standards.

We are proud to represent a range of clients and we truly care about giving them the best quality service they deserve through our clear, transparent, and practical advice. We understand that every visa application is unique and everyone has different circumstances. This is why we give a very personalised service to each client.

If you need assistance with your Ancestry visa application, our team of specialists are here to help you.

Please contact us today on 020 3476 9523 or email us at [email protected] 


What Does a UK Ancestry Visa Entitle Me To?

On the Ancestry visa, you are able to work, live, study, and be self-employed in the UK. Usually, other visas require you to have a job offer from a registered sponsor to work in the UK, but under this visa, you are free to choose any job you wish to do both part-time or full-time. Also, you can do volunteer work and bring your partner and child.

Can You Buy a House on an Ancestry Visa?

Depending on the mortgage lender, you may be able to buy a home in the UK on an Ancestry visa. You may need to demonstrate that you have plans to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to pay the monthly repayments to secure the mortgage.

Why Would an Ancestry Visa Be Denied?

Your Ancestry visa application may typically be denied if you do not meet the requirements, if you have not provided sufficient evidence, or if you have not completed the application form correctly. For instance, if you state that you do not intend to seek employment in the UK, then your application may be refused. Similarly, if you do not provide evidence of sufficient funds in your bank account, your application may be denied. The list of reasons why an application could be refused is non-exhaustive and depends on the circumstances.

How Long Does an Ancestry Visa Take?

When applying from outside of the UK, you may get a decision for the Ancestry visa within 3 weeks.

How Do I Get a British Passport After an Ancestry Visa?

Once you can demonstrate that you have been in the UK for 5 years continuously on the Ancestry visa and that you meet the requirements, you can apply for ILR which allows you to live permanently in the UK. After you have held ILR for at least one year you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship, which if successful will allow you to apply for a British passport. It should be noted that you will need to satisfy certain eligibility criteria for British citizenship. The Nathanson Partnership can also assist with this application.


Please contact us today on 020 3476 9523 or email us at [email protected] 


Image by Annie Spratt on unsplash