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If you are a Commonwealth citizen and have a grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you may be able to live and work in the UK on the basis of your UK Ancestry for a five-year period.  A UK Ancestry visa can only be obtained from outside the UK.

Requirements for a UK Ancestry visa:

  • You must be a Commonwealth citizen;

  • You must be able to prove one of your grandparents was born in the UK;

  • You are able and intend to work in the UK;

  • You are aged 17 or over;

  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependants while in the UK;

In addition you are required to provide proof that one of your grandparents was born in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, on a British-registered ship or aircraft or in the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922.

You must satisfy that your grandparent is your blood grandparent or grandparent through recognised adoption by the laws of the United Kingdom relating to adoption.  The adoption also apply to your parent being adopted.  However, UK Ancestry cannot be claimed through step-parents.

In addition to meeting the maintenance and accommodation requirement, you must satisfy the Home Office that you are able to work and intend to take or seek employment or self-employment in the United Kingdom.

The intention to work in the UK or securing employment before applying is not a pre-requisite before applying for the UK Ancestry visa. Proof that you are looking for a job is sufficient in meeting the criteria.

Accommodation and maintenance

You must demonstrate that they will ‘be able to maintain and accommodate himself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds’.

The term ‘adequately’ is defined in the introduction to the Immigration Rules as:

“adequate” and “adequately” in relation to a maintenance and accommodation requirement shall mean that, after income tax, national insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted, there must be available to the family the level of income that would be available to them if the family was in receipt of income support.

Employment/Self Employment/Unemployment

You should provide evidence of your work history covering the five-year period. If you are unemployed at the time of the application, it is important to provide as much evidence as possible to show how you have supported yourself. If you are or have been seeking employment, you should provide evidence of this as well as any reasons why you have been unable to secure employment.

The UKVI is likely to subject your application to scrutiny, if at the time of submission you are unemployed.  You should provide adequate evidence of maintenance and any sources of income.

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