Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

UK immigration: The UK Ancestral Visa – FAQ

(Partner Content) The UK Ancestral Visa is still one of the most popular and common ways in which persons from the Commonwealth countries can come to the UK. However, you will have to prove that you have a grandparent born in the UK to qualify.

uk immigration the uk ancestral visa faq - UK immigration: The UK Ancestral Visa – FAQ

Below we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions our consultants received during the past months. These FAQs will clarify many issues for readers on the Ancestral Visa immigration route.

Visa and Brexit

the Ancestral and other family routes now fall away with the introduction of
the new points-based immigration system, planned by the UK Government?

good news is that the existing family visa route, UK Ancestral Visa, and
Overseas Sole Representative categories all fall outside of a points-based immigration

routes will stay in place and will not be affected by any new points-based
immigration system or Brexit. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and
we recommend that you contact us if you have any doubts about your immigration

Ancestral Visa and when to apply for Indefinite
Leave to Remain

I entered the UK two months after my five-year
ancestral visa was approved in 2015. My visa expires in July 2020. Do I
need to apply for an extension of my ancestral visa to complete five years
for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or may I apply for indefinite leave to remain
straight away?

You do not need to apply for an extension of your ancestral visa. If you
have not been out of the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months starting
from the grant of your Ancestral visa, you can apply. Therefore, even though
you entered late, and provided you have traveled relatively conservatively
after that, you should meet the requirements for ILR. You will be eligible
to apply for this leave 28 days before the expiry date of your existing visa.

Ancestral Dependants and Indefinite Leave to Remain

The dependants on my Ancestral visa entered the UK
at a later stage than myself. When will they qualify to apply for Indefinite
Leave to Remain?

One of the
biggest advantages of the Ancestral visa is that the dependants can apply for
ILR at the same time as the main visa holder, irrespective of how long they
have been in the UK. Even if they have
only been in the UK on this status for a period shorter than the qualifying
period of five years, they can apply. However, once they obtain Indefinite
Leave to Remain, they will first have to fulfill
the five-year residence period in the UK, before they can apply for British

Ability to work on the Ancestral Visa

I am beyond
retirement age – does the Home Office have an upper age limit on who may apply?

For a person to qualify for a UK Ancestry visa, you
must be aged 17 or over. There is no upper age limit on applicants.  However, you will have to show that you can
work and that you do intend to take or seek work in the UK. Other than that,
your age would not prevent you from applying. 

work on the Ancestral Visa

Will I be
able to meet the Ancestral Visa requirement to work or seek work, by doing
voluntary work in the UK?

Yes, the Home Office recently updated its guidance
to confirm that voluntary work would qualify. Please note that applicants do
also have to show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves in the
UK. So, if an applicant does not have any income from UK employment, then this
requirement would need to be met/evidenced differently.

Language Requirement and the Ancestral Visa

Do I need
to take an English Language test before applying for the UK Ancestry Visa?

Fortunately, there is no English language
requirement attached to an application for a UK Ancestry visa. However, you
will have to provide evidence of your English language skills when later
applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are certain exemptions, such as
being aged 65 or over at the date of that application.

For more
information or assistance with the UK Ancestry Visa route, please contact us at or visit our website at You are also welcome to fill out the
form below.

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

Breyts banner - UK immigration: The UK Ancestral Visa – FAQ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *