Can I apply for a UK Ancestry visa?
With talk of the new UK points based Immigration system and a radical overhaul of the Immigration system people are asking immigration solicitors if you can still apply for a UK visa based on your ancestry. The answer is yes as the ancestry visa route remains open to those who meet the eligibility criteria. In this blog we look at the ancestry visa and whether you are eligible to apply for an ancestry visa.
Ancestry visa solicitors
The ancestry visa lawyers at OTS Solicitors in London will answer all your ancestry visa questions and help you apply for your ancestry visa. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here for a video conference, Skype or telephone appointment with one of our specialist immigration solicitors.
Can I apply for a UK Ancestry visa?
You may meet the eligibility criteria to apply for an ancestry visa if you are a Commonwealth national and:
- You are at least seventeen years old
- You have at least one grandparent who was born in the UK or the Islands. Ireland is only relevant if your grandparent was born there before the 31 March 1922
- You intend to work or seek Employment in the UK
- You will be able to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants whilst in the UK, without having recourse to public funds
- You do not qualify for refusal based on the general Home Office grounds of refusal.
Am I a Commonwealth national?
The first question when looking at eligibility criteria for the ancestry visa is whether or not you are a Commonwealth national. Immigration solicitors say that Commonwealth nationals are defined for ancestry visa purposes as citizens of the countries listed in schedule 3 of the British nationality Act 1981.
The countries included in schedule 3 are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- Republic of Cyprus
- The Gambia
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Christopher and Nevis
- Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Western Samoa
Do I have British ancestry to qualify for an ancestry visa?
An applicant for an ancestry visa must have British ancestry and for the purposes of the ancestry visa British ancestry is defined as having at least one grandparent born in a relevant jurisdiction, namely:
- the UK
- the islands of Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
- Ireland, provided that your grandparent was born before the 31 March 1922
- In some limited circumstances a British-registered aircraft or ship.
Who is classed as a grandparent for an ancestry visa?
For the purposes of an ancestry visa your grandparent can be:
- Your biological grandparent
- Your grandparent by adoption provided that the adoption is a recognised adoption. In adoption situations either you or your parent could have been adopted.
What is the eligibility criteria for an ancestry visa and having a job in the UK?
Many people assume that they won’t meet the eligibility criteria for an ancestry visa because they don’t have the offer of a job from a UK employer and think that is an essential component of eligibility for an ancestry visa. It isn’t.
Unlike with a work visa , where you need a job offer and a sponsoring employer, with an ancestry visa all you need to be able to demonstrate is that you are able to work and intend to get Employment in the UK.
For the purposes of an ancestry visa application the work you are intending to do in the UK doesn’t have to be an employed job. You can intend to set up your own business in the UK.
Immigration solicitors recommend that you gather evidence about your job plans to support your ancestry visa application. The evidence can include:
- Your CV showing qualifications and previous work experience
- Job applications made and job offers from employers
- Your contact with a recruitment agency
- If you plan to set up your own business in the UK, your business plan including details of how you plan to finance the business venture.
How much do you need in savings to meet the eligibility criteria for an ancestry visa?
As the ancestry visa eligibility criteria say that you need to be able to maintain and accommodate yourself people ask how much you need in savings as a maintenance fund in order to qualify for an ancestry visa.
For the purposes of an ancestry visa application you don’t need a minimum savings figure to meet the maintenance requirement. The Immigration Rules simply say that you must be able to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants adequately and without recourse to public funds. Immigration solicitors do however recommend that care is taken and evidence produced to show how you can both maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants.
What documents do I need for my ancestry visa application?
Immigration solicitors say that the Home Office hasn’t produced a set list of documents needed to make a successful ancestry visa application but they recommend that you take legal advice on the best documents to produce in support of your application.
Any ancestry visa applicant will need to produce evidence of:
- Commonwealth nationality
- Ancestry evidence
- Work and maintenance evidence.
How long does an ancestry visa last for?
An ancestry visa is valid for five years. During the ancestry visa you can live, work and study in the UK. After five years on an ancestry visa you can apply to the Home Office for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided that you meet the eligibility criteria for ILR.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
The ancestry visa lawyers at OTS Solicitors in London are specialists in ancestry visa applications. Our friendly and approachable immigration solicitors can answer your ancestry visa questions and help you successfully apply for your UK ancestry visa.
Ancestry visa solicitors
For expert ancestry visa help call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form for a video conference, Skype or telephone appointment with one of our specialist immigration solicitors.
London based OTS Solicitors specialises in immigration law . The firm is recommended in two leading law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. The specialist lawyers provide easy to follow immigration legal advice looking at your best visa options. For expert immigration law and ancestry visa advice you can trust from specialist ancestry visa solicitors call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here.