How Much Is a UK Ancestry Visa

How Much Is a UK Ancestry Visa

The UK Ancestry visa is a type of visa for overseas nationals who have a relation to a British citizen through a grandparent, to come to the UK to work. There are strict regulations regarding who can apply and what documents they need to provide to support their application. However, compared to other visas for the UK, the Ancestry visa is relatively cheap.

So how much is it and how do you apply?

How to Apply for a UK Ancestry Visa

How to Apply for a UK Ancestry Visa

When applying for UK visas, you’ll need to submit an application form online alongside your supporting documents. You’ll also have to pay the application fee and the immigration health surcharge. Those applying for the Ancestry visa can also bring their dependents (their long-term partner and any dependent children), however, each person must submit their own application to be considered separately.

If successful, you’ll be notified within 3 weeks of the completion of your application and asked to attend an appointment at your nearest UKVCAS centre to have your biometric information taken i.e. your photo and fingerprints for your biometric residence permit. Once these are issued and you have your passport returned, you may enter the UK.

The hardest part of applying for UK visas is often gathering the necessary documents, as it’s not always 100% clear what documents you need. Fortunately, immigration services like Synergy Immigration Solutions have experts on hand to help each individual prepare for their application.

Documents You’ll Need

To apply for a UK Ancestry visa, you’ll need to provide:

  • Your current passport (with space for your visa) or a different valid travel document if applicable
  • Your full birth certificate
  • The full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent who were citizens of British territories
  • Proof that you’re planning to work in the UK, for example, a job offer or business plan
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself (and any dependants) for at least the first month in the UK while you arrange accommodation or look for work, such as recent bank statements dated
  • A negative tuberculosis (TB) test result if you are from one of the listed countries

The Home Office strives to only issue visas and asylum requests to people who are of ‘good character’ so if you have any criminal convictions you should provide details of the offence with your application, and it may help you to provide a police report even if you have no criminal history to prove that you are of good character.

Who Can Apply

Children of one or more British citizens don’t need to apply for the UK Ancestry visa, they can simply apply for British citizenship instead. However, if you are the grandchild of someone born in the UK or Channel Islands, you can apply for the UK Ancestry visa if you are also:

  • a Commonwealth citizen
  • a British overseas citizen
  • a British overseas territories citizen
  • a British national (overseas)
  • a citizen of Zimbabwe

Applicants must also be over 17 years old in order to meet the intention to work criteria of the UK Ancestry visa.

How Much Is a UK Ancestry Visa?

How Much Is a UK Ancestry Visa?

So, to the price of the Ancestry visa. Cheap in comparison to most UK visas, especially the Family visa, the UK Ancestry visa costs just £637 and is given for 5 years. However, each applicant must pay this fee so if you’re applying to come to the UK with your family, each person you bring will also have to pay this charge.

What’s more, each applicant also has to pay the immigration health surcharge (IHS) The IHS is calculated according to how long you’ll be in the UK, so for adults entering the UK on an Ancestry visa for 5 years, you’ll have to pay £1,035 per year, or £5,175 in total. Applicants under 18 when they apply have to pay £776 per year, or £3,880 in total.

The IHS is an essential part of the application cost as it will grant you access to NHS services while you’re in the UK. Just like British nationals, you can use GP services and visit the hospital free of charge, however, you do have to pay a fee for prescriptions and dentistry. You won’t receive a refund if you don’t use the NHS during your stay, and you must pay the fee, even if you have health insurance.

You cannot switch to the Ancestry visa while you’re in the UK so all initial applications have the same fee and processing time for applicants outside of the UK. However, if you would like to continue living and working in the UK, you can extend your Ancestry visa from the UK for another 5 years, if you still meet the eligibility requirements. Extending your visa will cost £1,048 as well as another £5,175 for the IHS, and will take up to 8 weeks to receive a response.

Should You Extend a UK Ancestry Visa?

Should You Extend a UK Ancestry Visa?

While you can extend your UK Ancestry visa, if you want to live and work in the UK indefinitely, you may be better off applying directly for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), also known as permanent residency.

You can apply for ILR after living in the UK for at least 5 years without spending more than 450 days in total outside of the UK and no more than 180 in the last 12 months. You can apply for ILR up to 28 days before your visa expires, so it’s crucial to have all of your necessary documents together for your application to go through smoothly and for your residency to be issued before your visa expires.

You don’t have to pay the IHS, just the application fee of £2,885 per person and ensure you meet the eligibility requirements, including:

  • Meet the English language requirements (unless from an English-speaking country)
  • Pass the Life in the UK test
  • Prove you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants
  • Prove you intend to continue living and working in the UK
  • Prove you are still a Commonwealth citizen

If you meet each of these requirements, you can apply for ILR and be able to live, work and study in the UK permanently. After another 12 months, you can then apply for British citizenship if you wish.

Why Apply for British Citizenship

Why Apply for British Citizenship

Not everyone wants to have British citizenship, especially if they already have the right to reside in the UK indefinitely, however, gaining British citizenship does have numerous benefits.

With British citizenship, you will have:

  • The right to vote in all elections
  • The right to stand as an MP
  • Full access to public services including governmental benefits for unemployment and disability
  • Access to more job opportunities
  • The chance to leave and re-enter the UK with no restrictions
  • The right to remain in the UK after committing a serious crime and not face deportation
  • The ability to pass down citizenship to your children born in the UK
  • Access to British consular and diplomatic services when travelling abroad
  • The chance to apply for a British passport

When living in the UK, it’s important to exercise your rights in a democracy by voting, so having the chance to have a say in how the country is run is a big benefit. However, you also gain more travel opportunities. Having a British passport allows you visa-free travel to 154 countries and territories across the world, and you can leave and re-enter the UK as many times as you please and for however long you want.

Need Visa Help? Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions

Visa processes can be long and difficult, so if you’re struggling with yours, or only have a limited time to submit your application before your current visa expires, getting some help can be a huge benefit.

Synergy Immigrations Solutions is happy to help with all kinds of UK visa applications; contact us today to learn more, and read our privacy notice to see how we process your data.

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