Many South African’s hope they can access the UK through ancestors but the ancestry route can be a tricky one.

For starters, only individuals with a parent actually born in the UK can apply for a British passport. An individual with a grandparent who was born in the UK can only obtain an ancestral visa. After that, a great-grandparent is unfortunately too far removed.

Furthermore, the ancestral visa requires a few elements that need to be met in order for an individual to qualify:

  1. You are a Commonwealth citizen aged 17 or older
  2. One of your grandparents was born in the UK
  3. You intend to work and settle in the UK
  4. You will not make use of public funds in the UK
  5. You have TB Test Clearance certificate done
  6. You’ve paid the NHS surcharge

In order to apply for an ancestral visa, you also need to prove your ancestry by means of presenting your grandparent’s birth certificate. This is a birth certificate that states where in the UK they were born and their date of birth, as well as parent names and usually features handwritten details.

Individuals can order a birth certificate by registering on the General Register Office (GRO) website and paying the required fee.

The ancestral visa application process is 15 -22 working days once submitted and is valid for 5 years, after which, the individual can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

If you’d like to apply for an ancestral visa, contact Robyn Lamb today and she’ll take you through the process. You can email her on and begin your visa application today.