If Your Grandparent Was Born in the UK—You May Be Entitled to UK’s 5-Year Ancestry Visa

2 min


Either dead or alive, if your grandparent was born in the UK, you may be entitled to UK’s ancestry visa—which eventually could lead to you being granted settlement in the UK and then British Citizenship.

The ancestry visa is valid for 5 years. It allows you to live and work in the UK. Once you have completed the 5-year residence, you can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

A year after the Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can choose to naturalize as a British Citizen.

If you qualify for an ancestry visa and you have a child or a partner, they can also apply to join you under the ancestry route.

Who Can Apply for Ancestry Visa

The governing rules/law in relation to the ancestry visa can be found under the Immigration Rules Appendix UK Ancestry.

You can apply for this visa to mainly come and work in the UK if the following applies:

  • You are 17 years older or over
  • You must be a Commonwealth country’s national
  • You must have at least one grandparent born in the UK or Islands; Ireland (if before 31 March 1922); or, in certain circumstances, on a British-registered ship or aircraft
  • You must be able to work and intend to seek employment or work in the UK; and
  • You must be able to “maintain and accommodate” himself or herself and any dependant in the UK, without recourse to public funds
  • If you are under 18 years on the date of your application, you must provide written consent from (a) both parents; or (b) one parent, if that parent has sole legal responsibility for the applicant; or (c) the applicant’s legal guardian.

Which Grandparent Can Be Relied On

The grandparent you seek to rely on for this application can be a biological grandparent or grandparent by adoption.

When it comes to a grandparent by virtue of adoption, the applicant may have been adopted by a parent whose own parent was born in the UK or the applicant may be the biological child of a parent who was adopted by someone who was born in the UK. The adoption must be a recognised adoption. You cannot claim UK ancestry through step-parents.

Intention to Work

When applying for an ancestry visa, you do not have to demonstrate that you have a job offer in the UK. You have to just show that you are “able to work and intend to take or seek employment in the United Kingdom”.

However, if you have a job offer, this will meet the requirement.

All you have to show is that you have the intention to seek work in the UK, and you have a realistic possibility to finding work in the UK.

Maintenance and Accommodation

An applicant for an ancestry visa must demonstrate that he/she can maintain and accommodate himself/herself in the UK.

There is no set amount of savings you must hold or a set number of days you must hold the available funds. The rules simply require you to demonstrate that you “will be able to maintain and accommodate himself and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds”. 

Though the accommodation and maintenance requirements are flexible, it is advised that you  ]try to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirements for a family visa, as set out in the guidance on Appendix FM.

Regarding this, you must show that you have more money available to you than a British family would receive in Universal Credit and that the available accommodation for you will not be overcrowded and it will be owned or legally occupied by you and your dependants if any.

Evidence in Support of Application

There are no strict/specific evidence requirements for this application. However, it must be proven that your grandparent was indeed born in the UK—and to prove this, you will need to provide birth certificates for the three relevant generations: yourself; your relevant parent; and your parent’s relevant grandparent.

Other evidence such as your bank statements to demonstrate maintenance and proof of available accommodation in the UK must be provided.


When it comes to UK Immigration Law, I mostly represent those coming to the UK to study, visit, settle or work–by representing them in their various applications, appeals, Administrative Review and Judicial Review. If you need legal representation in securing a visa to come to the UK or overturning a refusal via Appeal, Administrative Review or Judicial Review, contact me via Whatsapp/Direct Call: +447837576037 or E-mail: [email protected]

Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri,Esq
I am Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, a lawyer, a thinker, a writer and something like a legal polymath based in the United Kingdom; I hold 2 Master’s degrees in Law; International Human Rights Law (LL.M) and Legal Practice Course (LL.M) from University of Leicester and Nottingham Law School--and also a degree in Law (LL.B). I currently work at Adukus Solicitors in London--where I use my legal brains to kick real ass, for the good of my clients and humanity. Contact: [email protected] [email protected]