Many South Africans think that the grass is greener on the other side and are asking: “What are the UK ancestry visa requirements?” Now that South Africans are no longer eligible for two-year work visas, people are pursuing the option of getting an ancestral visa to live and work in the United Kingdom. If you have an ancestral visa, you won’t need to get an additional work permit to be able to work in the UK.
Here are some of the questions frequently asked when people apply for an ancestral visa to the United Kingdom:
Who can get a UK ancestry visa?
Ancestral visa can be claimed by Commonwealth citizens (such as South Africans) who have grandparents who were born in the United Kingdom and can claim ancestral birth rites as a result. The requirements are as follows:
- You must be a Commonwealth citizen
- You must be 17 years or older
- You must have a grandparent born the United Kingdom, The Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
- Your grandparent may also have been born before March 31 1922 in the Republic of Ireland.
- You are able to work in the Unite Kingdom
- You intend to work in the United Kingdom (you are also allowed to set up your own business in the UK)
- You don’t need public funds to support yourself and your dependants.
What does an ancestral visa permit?
An ancestral birth right allows South Africans to gain a multiple entry visa of 5 years to the United Kingdom. This visa does not have any restrictions on work; and after the first 5 years the visa holder is entitled to apply for a visa extension. If the requirements for permanent residency are met after some time, the visa holder can apply to be registered as a British national. To become a permanent resident, you also will have had to be employed in the United Kingdom for 5 years without long periods of absence from work.
How much does an ancestral visa cost?
An ancestral visa will cost you 265 Great British Pounds, which equates to around R3500. This fee can be paid to the British High Commission situated in Pretoria
What documents and details to I need to apply?
What are the UK ancestry visa requirements? There are a number of documents you need, including:
- Full birth certificates of both parents and children
- All passports and 2 passport photos per person
- Confirmation that you have paid in full for the visa
- Flight bookings
- Accommodation arrangements for when you arrive in the UK
How long does it take to get an ancestral visa?
It usually takes 10 working days for an ancestral visa to be issued. If you are lucky it may take an even shorter time. The longest part of the process is getting all the forms you need to submit before your application.
If you would like some guidance getting you UK ancestral visa, there are a number of companies that specialise in helping South Africans get their feet into the green hills of England. Move Up is one such company that will help you to ensure that all documents are in order and that your visa application is successful. They charge a case fee for this service of helping you through the technical requirements of applying for an ancestral visa.
Another company that can help you get an ancestral visa to the United Kingdom is 1st Contact South Africa (http://www.1stcontactsa.co.za/UK/uk-ancestral-visa.aspx); email them on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 021 657 2180.
There are many advantages to having a UK ancestry visa, as it allows you to travel around Europe and work and live in the United Kingdom. If you would like to take up permanent residency in the United Kingdom, getting an ancestral visa is the first step to get your foot in the UK door.