Tier 4 Ancestry visas are available for Commonwealth citizens who wish to come to work in the UK, and who can demonstrate that at least one of their grandparents was born in the UK. There are conditions for applying under UK immigration law as well as certain documents which must be provided. You are allowed to stay in the UK for five years on this visa. You are also permitted to apply for an extension to it, or apply to settle permanently in the UK.

Oratto and immigration solicitors

Oratto member immigration solicitors from London, and throughout the UK, will have all the necessary experience to advise you on ancestry visas. If you are thinking about applying for an ancestry visa, legal assistance will help ensure that you are eligible and apply correctly. You can send your details to us and we will match you with the right immigration solicitor for you based on an assessment of your circumstances. Or if you prefer you can select a lawyer yourself to connect with online from the list on this page.

Ancestry visas

In order to be eligible to receive an ancestry visa for the UK you must fulfil certain conditions:

  • you must be applying from outside the UK
  • you must be a Commonwealth citizen
  • you must be able to prove that at least one of your grandparents was born in the UK
  • you must be both able to and planning to work in the UK
  • fulfil all of the eligibility requirements

This is not a visa that can be changed from another visa (switched) and you will not be eligible to receive public funds during your time in the UK.

Ancestry visa documents

To support your application you must provide certain documents:

  • your current passport (or other valid travel identification if appropriate)
  • bank statements which confirm that you are able to support yourself
  • a copy of your tuberculosis test results if you are in a country for which this applies

Separately to these, you must also provide documents to prove your ancestry status:

  • your full birth certificate
  • the full birth certificates of the relevant parent and grandparent that your ancestry visa application is based on
  • if your wife, husband or civil partner wishes to join you then you must provide your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document
  • the marriage certificates for your parents or grandparents
  • legal adoption papers if you or your parents are adopted

Family members and your ancestry visa

You are allowed to work and study as well as bring family members, or dependants, into the UK with an ancestry visa – if they qualify. A dependant is classed as:

  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they are already in the UK as a dependant
  • your partner

If members of your family have a visitor visa, then they will not be eligible to apply in the UK as your dependant.

How to apply

Applications are made online, but as a part of the application biometric information (photograph and fingerprints)must be provided at a UK visa application centre.

If you need further advice or you are thinking of making an application for an ancestry visa in the UK, contact Oratto for expert legal advice.