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21 November, 23
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Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Rated 4.8 / 5. Showing our 4 & 5 star reviews.

About

An Ancestry Visa is a visa that allows a person to live in the UK for five years. The visa is granted to those who have a grandparent who was born in the UK. A solicitor can ensure that the application is submitted correctly and the applicant is eligible.Next steps

How much does an Ancestry Visa cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with an Ancestry Visa is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £675-£900 but in some cases it could cost as much as £1,078.

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Ancestry Visa Application

If you have a grandparent who was born in the UK and you are a Commonwealth citizen, you may be able to apply for a UK ancestry visa. 

If you are applying for a UK ancestry visa as a relative of a British citizen you will need to be able to provide evidence of their British heritage and yours. Locating the right documents can be difficult, especially if your grandparents left the UK a long time ago. 

Our network of immigration solicitors understands that securing a UK visa can mean a lot to you.

A lawyer can guide you through the ancestry visa application and requirements including sourcing supporting documents and completing the application form correctly.  

What is a UK Ancestry visa? 

A UK ancestry visa is a visa that enables those who have family connections the right to live and work in the UK. 

It is one of the most popular routes to securing UK residency as they last for 5 years, with the option to extend for an additional 5 years. Another option when an ancestry visa ends is to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Can you work with a UK Ancestry visa?

To qualify for a UK ancestry visa, you must intend to secure employment in the UK either before your arrival or soon after.

Once you've got the visa, you're not limited in the type of work you can do. Unlike some other visas, there's no restriction based on skill level or industry. You can dive into any job once you're in the UK

You can work for an employer in a role of your choosing, full-time part-time, or even in a voluntary capacity. Or, you may decide to launch your own business in the UK.

You can also study while you work and bring your family and children with you.

What can’t you do with a UK Ancestry visa?

For your application to be successful, you must be able to support yourself financially, find accommodation, and pay rent. This is because individuals on an ancestry visa don’t have access to public funds, like benefits

You don't need to meet a specific savings threshold according to immigration rules. The key is to show that you can support yourself and any dependents, without relying on public funds.

When it comes to housing, you don't have to own or have previously rented a property in the UK to meet the requirements. Simply showing that you have accommodation available, like staying with a friend or a family member, is typically enough to fulfill the accommodation criteria.

Who can apply for a UK Ancestry visa? 

If you're 17 or older and a Commonwealth citizen with at least one grandparent born in the UK, you might qualify for a UK ancestry visa.

The key requirement is having a grandparent born in Britain, by blood or adoption.

Can you apply for a UK Ancestry visa while you’re in the UK?

You can't switch to a UK ancestry visa if you're already in the UK on another type of visa.

You can only apply from within the UK if you entered the country with UK ancestry entry clearance.

What are the requirements for a UK Ancestry visa?

You can apply to a UK ancestry visa if you meet all of the below requirements:

  • One of your grandparents was born in the UK, or the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or the Republic of Ireland before March 31 1922

  • You’re a Commonwealth citizen 

  • You intend to find work in the UK

  • You have the finances and accommodation to support yourself

What documents do you need for a UK Ancestry visa?

As part of your UK ancestry visa application process, you'll need to submit several supporting documents.

These typically include your passport or travel document, along with other paperwork that proves your British heritage and shows that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Depending on your situation, you might need to provide some or all of the following documents:

  • Your birth certificate

  • The birth certificate of your grandparent or family member your claim is based on

  • The marriage certificate for parents or grandparents who were married

  • Adoption papers if your claim is based on your adoption, or a family member’s

  • Proof you are planning to work in the UK, job offers, business plan

  • Bank statements to demonstrate you can support yourself financially or evidence of a promise from a family member to support you 

  • Tuberculosis test results if from a listed country

  • Parental consent if the applicant is under the age of 18

When can I apply for a UK Ancestry visa?

The earliest you can apply is three months before you plan to travel to the UK.

How to apply for a UK Ancestry visa

You can apply for an ancestry visa online before you travel to the UK.

You will then need to book an appointment at a visa application center to prove your identity. There your fingerprints and photograph will be taken.

You should be aware the visa application centre may keep your passport and documents while they’re processing your application. 

How long does it take to get a UK Ancestry visa?

Typically, it takes about three weeks to receive a decision on your UK ancestry visa application.

However, depending on your circumstances you may be able to pay to get a faster decision.

How much does a UK Ancestry Visa cost?

To apply for a UK ancestry visa, you'll need to pay an application fee, which currently stands at £637. Depending on your location, you might be able to pay an extra fee to expedite your application. Additionally, you may be required to pay the healthcare surcharge upfront to access NHS healthcare while you're in the UK. This fee is calculated annually based on the length of your visa. When it comes to hiring a licensed solicitor to assist with your ancestry visa, the cost can vary depending on factors like the complexity of your case.

On average, you can expect fees ranging from £675 to £900. However, in some instances, it could go up to £1,078.

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How long can you stay in the UK on an Ancestry visa?

If your visa application is approved, you can stay in the UK for a minimum of 5 years, as that's the duration of a UK ancestry visa. And the good news is, you have options to extend your stay.

Once your initial 5-year visa expires, you can apply for another ancestry visa, which will also be valid for 5 years. From there, you can keep extending for additional 5-year periods or choose to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you wish to settle permanently in the UK.

There's no limit on how many times you can extend your visa. However, if your goal is permanent residency, applying for indefinite leave to remain is the way to go, as you won't have to renew your visa every 5 years.

How long can you be out of the UK on an Ancestry visa?

While a UK ancestry visa is valid for 5 years, if you leave the UK for more than 180 consecutive days within 12 months during your visa tenure, you won't be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

However, if you don't plan to apply for indefinite leave to remain, you can still extend your visa for another 5 years. Even if you've spent more than 180 consecutive days outside the UK in any 12 months of your visa, you can still apply for this extension.

Can my partner and children join me in the UK?

You can bring your family members and children (dependents) with you while you live in the UK on an ancestry visa as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Dependents can include: 

  • Your partner

  • Children under 18 years of age

  • Children over 18 who were previously on your or your partner’s visa

When applying, you'll need to show proof of your dependent's relationship to you.

If you're bringing your partner to the UK, you'll need to provide evidence for the following:

  • You’re married or in a civil partnership that is recognised in the UK

  • You’ve been living together and in a relationship for at least 2 years by the time you apply

  • You’ve been in a relationship for at least two years if you haven’t been able to live together for cultural or religious reasons

You’ll need to prove the following to bring your child to the UK:

  • They live with you unless they’re in boarding school, college or university

  • They’re not married, in a civil partnership, or have children

  • They’re supported by you

Partners and children living outside the UK need to provide biometric information—photos and fingerprints—when entering the UK.

If they're already in the UK on a visa, they can either extend their current visa or switch to an ancestry visa, except if they're on a visitor visa, short-term visa, or study visa.

Why was my UK Ancestry visa declined?

We understand how tough it is if your visa application is rejected. You've probably worked hard on it and had big plans for your future in the UK.

Visa denials by the Home Office often happen for a few common reasons. But if you carefully follow the process and provide all the needed documents about your heritage and ability to support yourself and your dependents, your chances of approval are usually good.

Your application might have been declined for these reasons:

  • Your supporting documents were unable to prove your ancestry or other application requirements

  • You have unspent criminal convictions

  • You haven’t paid all the correct fees

  • You didn’t respond to additional information requests from UK Visas and Immigration

Your options if your application is unsuccessful are to:

  • Apply for an administrative review if you think a mistake has been made

  • Start a new application

  • Apply for another type of visa

How can Lawhive help?

If your application has been rejected, our immigration lawyers are here to support you. We'll guide you on the best course of action based on the reasons for the refusal.

A successful application can make a huge difference in your life. Our experienced network of immigration solicitors is ready to assist you every step of the way, whether it's gathering family history documents, helping with application forms, or advising on the best visa route for you.

Contact us today for a free case assessment and begin your path to a successful application and future in the UK!

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