There are several visa options that allow you to visit, study, work and live permanently in the UK.
- Visit Gov.uk to see what you’re eligible for.
If you’re a Commonwealth Citizen and have a grandparent who was born in the UK, consider applying for a UK Ancestry Visa, which will allow you to:
- Live in the UK for five years or longer with full work rights.
- After 5 years, you can apply to renew your UK Ancestry Visa or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as permanent residency.
- Then, 1 year later, you can apply for UK citizenship and get your British passport.
Our UK Ancestry Visa Experience
We’re a family of four (mum, dad and two teenage kids) who relocated from one side of the world to the other. We moved from the Gold Coast, Australia, to Glasgow, Scotland, on a UK Ancestry visa.
We gave up our jobs, applied for a visa, sold 99% of our possessions, bought one-way plane tickets and said goodbye to our loved ones in Australia.
We arrived in Scotland in September 2016 with nothing more than two suitcases each. And although we only had limited savings and no jobs lined up – we did have a grand plan (and many backup plans) based on internet research, word-of-mouth recommendations and a whole lot of faith in our future.
In our first month, we established ourselves in a great suburb, secured full-time employment and enrolled our children into one of Scotland’s best (free) high schools.
Nearly 3 years later, we’re still very happy with our decision. We’re living our dream. A dream we’ve shared for more than 20 years. We’re well on our way to giving our children an amazing start in their lives. It is our belief that the relocation will open their eyes, hearts and minds to experiences and opportunities that may not have been available to them otherwise.
What You Need to Know When Applying for Your UK Ancestry Visa
Applying for a UK Ancestry Visa will cost between £5,000 and £10,000 per person.
- This includes the visa application fees, immigration health surcharge and the ‘sufficient funds’ criteria.
- You may choose to go back to your home country within the 5 years or at the end of the 5 years.
- If you breach your visa conditions, for example, by accessing public funds, you may be deported.
If you choose to stay on after your 5 years, you can:
- apply to renew your UK Ancestry Visa – about £5,000 and £10,000 per person (plus inflation), OR
- apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as permanent residency – about £2,000 to £3,000 per person (plus inflation).
If your goal is British Citizenship and a British Passport
- You need first to get your ILR and then wait at least 1 year before applying to become naturalised.
- It will cost you about £1,500 per person (plus inflation) for Citizenship.
UK Ancestry Visa to UK Citizenship journey
- It will take at least 6 years to become a British Citizen and to qualify for a British Passport.
- UK Ancestry Visa (5+ years) > Permanent Residency (1+ years) > Citizenship
- Expect to pay between £8,500 to £15,000 per person – depending on whether you use priority approval services, professional advisers and the impact of inflation
- For a family of 4, that’s £34,000 to £60,000.