The UK Ancestry Visa is a popular immigration route, available to Commonwealth citizens who have at least one grandparent born in the UK, and who intend to work when they arrive in the UK.

The UK Ancestry Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for up to five years, after which you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and finally British Citizenship. 

Who can apply for this visa?

  • You must be a Commonwealth Citizen.
  • You must be able to provide proof that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
  • The grandparent can be a biological grandparent, or a grandparent by adoption.
  • You must be able and planning to work in the UK.
  • You must be over 17 years old.
  • Your partner and dependent children under the age of 18 may be added to your application to join you in the UK as your dependents.
  • You must show proof of funds to support yourself and your dependants without relying on public funds in the UK.

What you can do

  • You can work and study in the UK.

What you cannot do

  • You cannot claim public funds
  • You cannot switch to this visa from within the UK.



You must apply online before you travel to the UK. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel to the UK. As part of your online application, you need to book an appointment at a visa application centre. You will have your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) taken at your appointment.

Once you have applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you will usually get a decision on your visa within 4-8 weeks.

You can extend your visa as many times as you like, provided
you meet the eligibility requirements.

No, you need to apply from outside the UK.

A person can apply for the UK Ancestry Visa if they or their parent are adopted.
There is no claim to the UK Ancestry Visa through stepparents.

No, but you must prove that you intend to work in the UK, and that you are able to do so.

Yes, one of the conditions of this visa is that you must work.

Yes, there are no work restrictions on this visa. If you intend to extend your visa or apply for ILR, you must prove that you worked during the 5 year duration of the visa.

Contact us for our expert advice

There are many requirements to be met to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration. The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the evidentiary documents that must be provided.

Woodcock Law is well placed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on making an Ancestry Visa application. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous, but we can assist you in your application.

We recommend getting in contact with us on 020 7712 1590 for our expert advice on such an application before any action is taken.

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on


Woodcock Law & Notary Public is the combined trading name of Woodcock Law Limited (Co. No: 12080697) and Woodcock Notary Public Limited (Co. No: 12085976). Woodcock Law Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (registration number 664924). Woodcock Notary Public Limited is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury for work undertaken by Mr Nathan Woodcock as a Notary Public. Woodcock Law Limited is a member of Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. (Membership Number: 7980).

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Woodcock Law and Notary Public specialises in a wide range of visa categories.