What is an Ancestry Visa?

An Ancestry Visa is for a Commonwealth citizen with a Grandparent born in the UK. It allows a person to come to the UK to work.

After 5 years of living and working in the United Kingdom under an Ancestry Visa a person can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If the application for Indefinite Leave to Remain is successful then the person can apply to become a British citizen after one more year of living in the UK.

We can assess your eligibility for an Ancestry Visa and help you apply:

Who is eligible for an Ancestry Visa?

Leave through UK ancestry is normally only granted on entry to the UK to a person who was granted entry clearance by a British mission or visa application centre in his or her country of residence.

An Ancestry Visa applicant must prove all of the following when applying for entry clearance:

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen (a British national, a citizen of a Commonwealth country, a citizen of the Gambia or Zimbabwe),
  • Be aged at least 17 years old.
  • Have a grandparent born in the UK or Islands (see definition of an ‘Island’ below). This includes a grandparent through adoption or a parent’s adoption.
  • Plan to be employed in the United Kingdom and be clearly able to do so.
  • Be able to fund all living costs without requiring help from state benefits.

If you are not eligible you may still be eligible for another type of visa or permit.

Note that a Commonwealth citizen born before 1983 with a parent or grandparent born in the UK or Islands, or who married a man before 1983 who became a British citizen in 1983, might today have right of abode. When assessing eligibility for an Ancestry Visa, we also check your right of abode status.


  • ‘UK’ means Great Britain, Northern Ireland and before 31 March 1922, all Ireland.
  • ‘Islands’ means the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, e.g. Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark.

Great grandparents, and grandparents which were born in British territories outside the British Isles, are not sufficient. In such an event, we can assess whether citizenship can be obtained from the connection. For further information, please contact us by completing the form below.

Passportia’s Services for a UK Ancestry Visa

We have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the requirements for an Ancestry Visa and can assist you in submitting a strong application.

We will do a systematic initial evaluation and advise whether you have a potential claim to a UK Ancestry Visa, right of abode in the UK, or British nationality. If you are eligible for an Ancestry Visa and it best suits your needs, we can prepare and submit the application on your behalf.

Many applications for an Ancestry Visa fail because the Home Office is not satisfied with the type of evidence provided for:

  • Legitimate descent from a grandparent
  • A genuine offer of employment in the UK
  • The ability of the applicant to be employed in the UK for over 5 years
  • The ability of the person applying to be able to fund themselves over 5 years.

Some requirements above are subjective and may be difficult to demonstrate. Passportia can identify the best type of evidence and present it in a way that is most likely to satisfy the Home Office.

Don't hesitate, get in touch with us by completing the form below!


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  • Successful with complex claims
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I would just like to thank you very much for all the assistance received during my recent British Passport application. Without your assistance and guidance I probably wouldn’t have managed at all. I commend you on your professional advice and would without any doubt recommend Passportia Ltd to any prospective applicants.

W.L. - Rustenberg, South Africa, 2015