UK Ancestry : Work in the UK
If you’re thinking about living and working in the UK, and all the visa options are making your head spin, don’t worry: here’s one you may want to think about if you are lucky enough to have a grandparent born in the UK. The UK Ancestry visa is a 5 year employment visa. If you’re wondering what that all means and if you’re eligible, you’re in the right place - this post is here to break it all down for you.
What is a UK ancestry visa?
First things first, what is a UK ancestry visa? Well, it’s a 5 year employment visa which requires NO UK company or government sponsorship. You are free to work in any capacity in the UK. You can also study on the visa, providing you also intend to work. If you stay the full 5 years, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residency) and eventually you may be able to apply for British Citizenship.
Who can apply?
You can apply for a UK ancestry visa if you are one of the following:
- A Commonwealth citizen
- A British overseas citizen
- A British overseas territories citizen
- A British national (overseas)
- A citizen of Zimbabwe
Who is eligible?
It’s all well and good being one of the above, but figuring out whether or not you’re actually eligible can be the tricky part. There are requirements in place for being issued a UK ancestry visa in addition to your existing citizenship, which include the following:
- You must be aged 17 years or over
- You must have at least one grandparent who was born in the UK, Channel Islands or who was born in Ireland (before 31st March1922); the grandparent can be either biological or by adoption
- You must intend to work: your work can be paid or voluntary, full-time or part time, in self-employment or in a job where you’re employed by someone else.
What else is required?
It is important to remember that this is an employment visa. You don’t need to show that you have a job offer when you apply, but you do need to show that you can work and intend to seek employment while living in the UK.
You don’t need to have a minimum income, or a set amount of savings. But you do have to be able to provide evidence that you are able to live, maintain accommodation, and provide for dependents (if you have any), at least until you find employment. This will usually be in the form of bank statements showing you have sufficient funds.
What is the process?
You can apply for a UK ancestry visa up to three months before you intend to travel to the UK. Once you submit your application, it will normally take around 3 to 4 weeks to get your passport back.
Some documents include:
- Your current passport
- Birth certificates to show your ancestry claim
- Evidence for your intention to work
- Evidence to show that you can support yourself (and any dependents)
What does it cost?
The cost of a UK ancestry visa is £516. However the Immigration Health Surcharge is the major issue with this type of application as it will add on £3120 to the overall cost of the visa.