UK Ancestry Visas Application Rejected – Reasons & What You Can Do About Them
UK Ancestry visa is the category that allows Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or Isle of Man to come and work in the United Kingdom.
By 1900, the British Empire covered more than 11,400,000 square miles of territory and encompassed 450 million souls; at that time over a quarter of the world’s population. From India to Canada, Australia to Zimbabwe, the sun never set on the British Empire under Queen Victoria’s reign. The vastness of lands controlled by Britain means many people from Commonwealth countries are sitting on a jackpot – that is the potential right to British Citizenship. The UK Ancestry Visa allows Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man to live and work in the UK for an initial five-year period. At the end of the five years, applicants can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, which will allow them to live in the UK free from visa restrictions.
To successfully apply for a UK Ancestry Visa, you must:
- be a Commonwealth citizen
- be aged 17 years old or older
- Note: Your parents must submit written consent as part of your application if you were aged under 18 at the time of your application.
- have a grandparent born in the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or in the Republic of Ireland before 31st March 1922
- be able to work and intend to take up employment in the UK
- want to live in the UK
- prove you can support yourself and any dependents without having to rely on public funds
Despite this relatively straightforward list of criteria, many applications for a UK Ancestry Visa are refused, especially those who have made the application themselves and did not seek legal advice. Here are the three most common reasons UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) turn down UK Ancestry Visa applications and what you can do about it.
One – You Neglect to Prove you are Actively Looking for a Job in the UK
When applying for a UK Ancestry Visa, you need to show you fully intend to work or be self-employed after you arrive in Britain. The UK is an agency-based job market, meaning most employers will engage an agency to recruit talent on their behalf. An immigration solicitor in London can advise you to prepare a strong application mentioning about your active job search.
One of the main advantages of holding a UK Ancestry Visa is you can work for any employer, you can freely change employers during the five-year term of your visa, providing plenty of scope for moving companies in search of more money, skills, and responsibility.
The best way to prove you will be actively seeking employment in the UK is to include documents showing job offers you’ve received or agencies who have agreed to interview you on your arrival (emails are perfectly adequate). If you are self-employed, include a business plan in your application, as well as contacts you have made with potential clients/customers and suppliers.
In addition, you should also submit copies of your qualifications and CV as evidence of your ability to work upon your entry to the UK.
Two – Your Grandparent’s Original Birth Certificate Cannot be Located
One of the primary documents you will need to submit when applying for entry-clearance to the UK under the ancestry route is your grandparent’s birth certificate. This is to show they were:
- Born in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
- Born before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
- Born on a British-registered ship or aircraft
Adopted children and children born outside of marriage are eligible to apply. However, British ancestry cannot be claimed through step-parents.
If you are unable to locate your grandparent’s birth certificate, an experienced immigration lawyer will be able to assist you. They will have the knowledge required to source the original document on your behalf, allowing you to complete your application.
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Three – I Cannot Raise the Required Funds to Show I can Support Myself While in the UK on an Ancestry Visa
To successfully apply for a UK Ancestry Visa, you must have sufficient available in your bank account as evidence of your ability to support yourself in the UK. These funds need to have been in your account for at least 90 days prior to your application. In addition, you will need to pay the visa application fee of £610 per person and the Immigration Health Surcharge upfront for you and your dependents. This is currently charged at £624 per person per year of visa being granted and the rate is subject to periodic review by the Secretary of State. At present, this may total £12,480 for a family of four people.
You can use a sponsor to satisfy your financial requirement of the visa. This could be a parent, employer or friend. In your application, you will need to enclose a document from them stating they are providing the funds you need to support yourself and your dependents during your initial months in the country.
Final Words – Applying for Settlement
If you wish to stay in the UK after five years, you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). It is crucial you seek legal advice at this point as the slightest mistake on your application could lead to refusal and a potential ban on being able to enter the country again for several years.
The UK Ancestry Visa provides an incredible opportunity for eligible Commonwealth citizens to come to the UK to live, work, and eventually settle. Under this visa, you will also be free from restrictions that would otherwise be conferred to you if you were grant a visa under a different immigration route such as Skilled Worker or Innovator.
Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.