Skip to main content

Call us Mon-Fri

9am-5pm GMT

UK Ancestry Visas

If you have a UK-born grandparent and you are a Commonwealth Citizen over 17 years old, you can apply for a UK Ancestry visa to live and work in the UK.

A UK Ancestry visa is known as a ‘settlement’ visa, which means it provides you with a route to permanent residence in the UK, which you can apply for after five years of living in the UK. For those who qualify, this visa is especially attractive because it places no restriction on work rights - the holder can work for any employer and can be self-employed.

An application for a UK Ancestry visa can only be made from overseas. You will also need to demonstrate that you are able and intend to work in the UK, and that you have the means to support and house yourself here.

At Thorntons, our specialist Immigration Law team can advise you on whether you are eligible to apply for a UK Ancestry visa and support you throughout the application process.

Frequently asked questions

Here we look at some commonly asked questions about UK Ancestry visas.

Yes. You can bring your partner, spouse and dependent children under 18 to the UK on an Ancestry visa.

The current visa fee is £531. Compared to other visa fees for settlement, this fee is quite modest. Additional fees may apply if you wish to fast-track your application (depending on the country of origin).

The most significant cost is the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is paid upfront at the point of application. This surcharge is £624 per person, per year. As the Ancestry visa lasts for five years, this means the Immigration Health Surcharge is £3,120. The same visa fee and Immigration Health Surcharge fee applies to dependants.

You should apply no earlier than three months before your date of intended travel to the UK. After submitting your application, you will attend an appointment to enrol your biometrics with one of the Home Office’s commercial partners (VFS Global or TLS). Once you have attended the appointment, you should receive a decision within three weeks.

How can Thorntons help?

At Thorntons, we offer a range of services to clients wishing to obtain a UK Ancestry visa. As we are a full-service legal firm, our immigration clients can also easily access our one-stop relocation legal services, including property purchases and sales, personal tax and family law matters, and setting up a business.

Consultation Service Package

With our fixed fee consultation service, you will receive an advice session lasting up to one hour with an immigration specialist for a fixed fee. At the session, we will discuss the requirements for the UK Ancestry visa including the evidential requirements, assess your eligibility, answer any questions you have on the process, and provide a follow-up summary email. You can then choose to either submit the application yourself or instruct us to support you further through our end-to-end representation service package.

Our initial consultation costs £350 plus VAT. If you are based overseas, then you may not be charged VAT. If you choose to use our full representation service within three months of the initial consultation package, then we will discount 50% of the cost of the initial consultation service from the cost of future work instructed under the Representative Service Package.

Representative Service Package

We will take care of all aspects of the application process for you and act as named legal representative on your application. This service includes preparation of an application package, uploading all of your documents and keeping you updated at all stages of the process. Unless your case is unusually complex, we can offer support for UK Ancestry visa applications on a fixed fee basis.

We offer in-person consultations with immigration specialists at our Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, or via a video call if you prefer. To arrange a consultation, please call 03330 430350 or complete our online enquiry form below.