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Ancestry Visa

Ancestry visa

The ancestry visa allows Commonwealth citizens over 17 to enter the United Kingdom for 5 years on the basis of their grandparent's ties. This visa allows the bringing of dependants and is a route to settlement.

What you can do
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What you can do

  • Work (including full-time, part-time, and self-employed)

  • Study

  • Bring dependants (partner or children)

  • Settle after 5 years

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What you can't do

  • Switch to this visa if you entered the UK on a different visa

  • Receive public funds




You must have a valid passport.

Commonwealth citizen

You must prove that you are a Commonwealth citizen


Your grandparent must have been born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Alternatively, your grandparent was born before 31 March 1922 in what is now Ireland.

Or, your grandparent was born on a ship or aircraft which was registered in the UK or owned by the UK government.


You must prove that you can adequately maintain and accommodate yourself, and any dependants, in the UK without public funds.


You must be able to work and intend to seek and take employment in the UK.


You may require a tuberculosis test depending on the country you are applying from. You may also need to produce a criminal record certificate.

Term & Fees

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An application for an ancestry visa can only be made from outside the UK.

The current application fee is £637.

You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge of £1,035 per year.


ukvi processing time

The current processing time for ancestry visa applications is approximately 3 weeks.

Depending on your eligibility and which country you apply from, you may be able to pay for an enhanced service. The 'priority service' should provide you with a decision within 5 working days from the date of your biometrics appointment. The 'super priority service' is even faster, providing a decision within 1 working day.



Next Steps

If your application for an ancestry visa is successful, you will receive a visa vignette inside your passport. This will confirm the length and conditions of your entry clearance. You should be given permission to enter and stay in the UK for 5 years.

If your application for an ancestry visa is refused, you will receive a refusal letter outlining the reasons. There is no right of appeal, although you will have a right to administrative review.


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