UK Ancestry Visa ILR

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Indefinite Leave to Remain, UK Immigration

In this post, we discuss the process of applying for settlement in the UK based on the Ancestry visa route. With an Ancestry Visa, you have the freedom to work in any job or profession in the UK. Unlike some other visa categories that have restrictions on employment, the Ancestry Visa does not impose any specific limitations on the type of work you can undertake. You are free to pursue employment opportunities that match your skills, qualifications, and interests. After 5 years, migrants can apply for indefinite leave to remain and with it the freedom to reside in the UK permanently, without any immigration restrictions.  

Eligibility Criteria for Ancestry Visa ILR in the UK

To be eligible for an Ancestry Visa ILR, you must meet these key requirements:

Ancestry Requirement

You must be able to prove that you have at least one grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.

Qualifying residence period 

Applicants must have spent 5 years in the UK with permission on the UK Ancestry route as a person with UK Ancestry. At the time of applying, you must demonstrate that you have met the continuous residence requirement, meaning you have not been absent from the UK for more than the permitted duration.

Financial Requirement

There is no set level of funds the applicant must hold but they must show they can maintain and accommodate themselves, and any family members applying to join them in the UK, without access to public funds. Applicants can rely on credible support from a third party (for example, a relative or friend) to meet this requirement.

Intention to Work

In order to qualify for the Ancestry Visa ILR, there is no upper age limit, but it is crucial for all applicants to have the ability and intention to work in the UK. This includes the option of part-time and voluntary work. It’s important to note that applicants do not need to be employed or have a confirmed job at the time of application. They simply need to demonstrate their capability to work and their intention to actively seek and take up employment opportunities. There are various forms of evidence that can support this, such as job offers from UK employers, evidence of past work experience or relevant qualifications, records of applications made to UK employers, registration with a UK recruitment agency, proof of efforts made to enhance employability, or even a business plan or expressions of interest from potential clients if the applicant plans to be self-employed. 

If the applicant is currently unemployed, it is necessary to provide evidence of employment history throughout the previous five years on the Ancestry route, along with documentation showcasing ongoing efforts to secure employment.

To discuss your UK Ancestry Visa ILR application with an experienced immigration adviser, contact our team on +442087575751 or use our contact form.

English Language Proficiency

Meeting the English language requirement is an important aspect of the Ancestry Visa ILR application. If you are a national of one of the majority-English-speaking countries, you automatically fulfil the requirement. However, if you are not from an English-speaking country, you will need to demonstrate your proficiency in English. In most cases, applicants must show their ability in speaking and listening at a minimum level of B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, unless they qualify for an exemption.

It’s worth noting that if you have previously met the English language requirement at the necessary level in a successful application for entry clearance or permission to stay, you will also fulfil the requirement for your current Ancestry Visa ILR application. This means that you won’t need to provide additional proof of English language ability if you have already demonstrated it in a prior application.

Life in the UK test

As part of of a successful application for ILR, applicants must pass the Life in the UK test. An applicant is exempt from the Knowledge of Life in the UK requirement if at the date of application, they are aged 65 or over; or have a disability (physical or mental condition) which prevents them from meeting the requirement.

UK Ancestry: eligible dependants

The following dependants (family members) are eligible to apply on the UK Ancestry Route:

  • the partner of a person with UK Ancestry
  • the dependent child or children of a person with UK Ancestry (or of that person’s partner), provided the child is either aged under 18, or aged 18 or over and was last granted permission as the dependent child of the person with UK Ancestry (or of their partner)

Once the individual with UK Ancestry has been granted settlement, dependants who are already in the UK can become eligible for settlement without the need to fulfill a specific qualifying period on the UK Ancestry route. It’s important to note that in such cases, dependants cannot qualify for entry clearance. If they wish to join their family member, they would need to meet the requirements of another route, such as Appendix FM.

How to Apply for Ancestry Visa Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK?

To begin the process, applicants must gather the necessary documents demonstrating that they meet the application criteria, including their passport, birth certificate, proof of relationship to their grandparent, evidence of English language proficiency, and financial documents.

Secondly, accurately complete the application form, providing all required information. Next, pay the application fee, which varies depending on your circumstances. Then, submit your application, supporting documents, and fee payment to the designated visa center or online portal. Following that, attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph. The processing time for an Ancestry Visa ILR varies, so it’s advisable to check the official government website for updates.

British citizenship after Ancestry Visa ILR 

Obtaining British citizenship after Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK is a significant milestone for individuals looking to solidify their status and enjoy the benefits of full citizenship. By meeting requirements such as residency, good character, English language proficiency, and passing the Life in the UK Test, applicants can embark on the application process. Once granted British citizenship, individuals gain the right to live and work in the UK without restrictions, access public services, exercise voting rights, and enjoy the convenience of a British passport for travel.

How can we help

At Whytecroft Ford, our dedicated team of friendly professionals is committed to providing you with reliable and personalized support throughout your immigration journey. We stay up-to-date with the latest immigration laws and procedures, ensuring that you receive accurate advice and assistance tailored to your specific needs. To discuss your UK Ancestry Visa ILR application with an experienced adviser, contact our team at +442087575751 or use our contact form

Frequently asked questions

Can I apply for Ancestry Visa ILR if my grandparent is deceased?

Yes, you can still apply for ILR if your grandparent is deceased. You will need to provide the necessary documents, such as birth and death certificates, to establish your ancestral connection.

What if I am unemployed at the time of application?

You may still apply if you demonstrate that you are able to work and intend to seek and take employment, and you otherwise meet all the suitability and eligibility requirements.

Can I rely on an earlier 5-year period of permission as person with UK Ancestry to qualify for settlement?

You may be eligible for ILR provided that you completed a continuous 5-year period in the UK with permission on the UK Ancestry route, and you meet all of the requirements for settlement on this route. 

Does voluntary work count for UK Ancestry Visa?

The definition of ‘employment’ in paragraph 6.2 of the Immigration Rules includes “paid and unpaid employment”. This means that if an applicant is undertaking, or intends to undertake, voluntary work, this may be acceptable that an applicant meets the work requirement for the UK Ancestry ILR.

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