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UK Ancestry Application (Explained)

One of the most confusing things about applying for visas is the questions in the application and the evidence. What on earth do they expect you to answer and provide!? As it’s such a stressful process I wanted to make sure I could share on the information I entered on my UK Ancestry Visa.

As the process does change regularly make sure you go to the website before applying. This is all based on my information and when I applied. I have linked through all the official documents to speed up the process.

Disclaimer: Please note this information is based on my application and evidence (I’m not a lawyer or immigration advisor). The article is to help guide you on what to expect question wise and get you thinking of what to prepare. Your answers should be tailored to you and your information. If you are unsure reach out to the Home Office or my friends at Britbound who will be able to help you. Here are some other documents that may be helpful:

Disclaimer: Hi! this post may contain affiliate links which will take you to online retailers that sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something, I may earn a commission, see my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.

For more information about the visa process check out What You Need to Know When Applying for Your UK Ancestry Visa’. 

Disclaimer: This is based on my experience and you should seek professional advice if you are unsure. Go to GOV UK to check if there have been any changes to the visa rule & fees.

Where to Start Your UK Ancestry Visa Application

The UK Ancestry visa is moving to the new application process so to apply you need to go to the website. Depending on which country you are applying from the website will direct you to the right place.

I’ve had a lot of questions about whether you should use VFS Global or were they come into the process. VFS Global is just like using a visa service such as VisaFirst and 1stContact. I actually used VFS Global for my Russian visa as they run a few services for different countries. If you wish to go with a visa service to submit your application then they are a company you could choose to use. 

VFS Global do run some of the visa application centres (as a contracted third party) and that’s mainly where they come into the process. This is where you do your biometrics appointment and get your application stamped.

Please note the UK gov have announced that IHS surcharge will be increased to £625 in the coming months. This means that the 5 years will now cost £3,125.

Start an Application

To ensure you are directed to the right place (as they are migrating their systems) go to the website. The form will look slightly different from the screenshots in my application and included in the article. The questions are basically the same so the information in this article still applies.

Now for the Questions and Evidence…

Let’s go through the questions! I have put this in order of the sections within the online application and then added photos from my final application. You will notice that not all questions/answers end on the final application or in the same order so hopefully it all makes sense.

Passport and Travel Information

The Passport and Travel Information section is basically noting down what is stated in your passport or travel document so I won’t break this section down to much.

Is this your first Passport? My answer was no.

Then you need to enter your details of all other passports and travel documents held over the last 10years: Also state any non-documented nationalities you have held. I previous had a child’s passport so I entered these details and also submitted this passport along with my application as evidence.

Are you travelling with anyone? I put no for this answer as I was moving here by myself.

Date of planned arrival in the UK? i.e. when you planned to land in the UK

How long do you intend to stay in the UK? I put 5 years for this answer (the length of the visa).

What is the main address and contact details of where you will be staying whilst in the UK? I put the hostel that I would be staying at when I first arrived. Other options is hotel, Airbnb, friends or family etc.

Example of my application:

Ancestry Visa Application About You Section
An extract from the final application. As you can see these should be pretty easy for you to fill 🙂
Ancestry Visa Application Travel Purpose Section
Example of the travel dates and purpose of travel section.
Ancestry Visa Application Passport Information Section
The passport information summary on the application.
Ancestry Visa Application Passport Information Section2
The passport information summary on the application.

Personal Details and Travel History

Personal details covers information like where you live, how long you have lived there and general information. The interesting section is where it covers your travel and criminal history, let’s begin!

Have you been issued any visa for the UK, UK Overseas Territories or Commonwealth Country in the last 10 years? I put no as Australians don’t need visas to visit the UK or Commonwealth countries and I have never had a work visa. If you are country that does then put any visitor or work visas you’ve had here. A quick summary of information you will need if you select yes:

  • Type of visa issued – State the type of visitoror wok visa here
  • Date of Issue – Date of Issue as stated in thepassport or travel document
  • Date of Expiry – Date of Expiry as stated in the passport or travel document. If the passport ortravel document has no date of expiry please enter 01 JAN 2050.
  • Issuing Authority – that authority issued yourvisa i.e. British Embassy, High Commission, Consulate

Have you ever travelled to the UK in the last 10 years? The one and only trip  (technically two entries) I had to the UK was detailed here. You can put up to 5 trips you have had to the UK. I suggest putting latest to oldest dates (just my preference).

Have you made an application to the Home Office to remain in the UK in the last 10 years? I put no for this answer. Unless you have requested for Settlement or any visa like that then you answer will be no.

The application then goes into whether you have be refused entry, deported, elected to leave the UK and any other country. Hopefully you will be able answer no to all these questions.

Have you ever travelled outside your country of residence, excluding the UK, in the last 10years? I listed out all my trips, this needs to be as arcuate as possible. For my most recent application I was given 30 lines however it was a different visa but expect to have between 10 to 30 lines in the application to enter this. Again using the latest to oldest trip order. If you feel like it you can add a spreadsheet detailing your remaining trips but I didn’t provide a spreadsheet with my application Ancestry application.

Have you ever been issued with a UK National Insurance Number? E.g. QQ 123456A Unless you have lived in the UK previously you won’t have a National Insurance Number. If you curious to know more about National Insurance Number I have detailed everything in this article. 

The application then goes into criminal records, whether you are a terrorist and other information around your criminal history. 

Example of my application:

Ancestry Visa Application Contact Details Section2
Ancestry Visa Application Travel History Section
Ancestry Visa Application Travel History Section
ncestry Visa Application Travel History Section2
ncestry Visa Application Travel History Section2

Family Details

Family details is about your mother and father, your relationship status and whether you have children. This section should be a breeze.

For evidence I only provide my mums birth certificate as my dad isn’t linked to my ancestral heritage to the UK. If the birth certificates can tie your ancestral heritage then shouldn’t need a marriage certificate. If linking the heritage isn’t obvious then marriage certificates are a must.

Example of my application:

Ancestry Visa Application Family Details Section2
Ancestry Visa Application Family Details

Employment and Income

What is your total monthly income from all sources of employment or occupation, after tax? WhenI submitted my application I added what currency I was paid in so my answer was: AUD 3000 (for example).

The Type of work undertaken – For this question I just described my field and put IT ProjectManagement.

Do you have any additional paid jobs or occupations? If you have any more jobs add them here.

For evidence I also provided my employment contract to support the employment section.

Income and Expenditure

Do you have savings, properties or other income, for example from stocks and shares?  My answer was no as I didn’t have any income streams. If you do add them here.

How much do you spend each month in GBP(£) on living costs? I actually put this in AUD and not GBP as it was the thing at the time. It’s just a summary of what you spend on rent, bills etc each month converted into GBP.

The questions in the Income and Expenditure section is where people get the most confused. 

For this sections first, work out the total cost of your trip: flights, hotels, meals, train tickets, everything, in the currencies you’re paying in. Then convert to pounds and calculate the total.

Once establish the costs you need to figure out if you are paying for the whole trip or are you getting someone else to support your trip? If someone else is paying then did they buy your plane ticket? Will they be paying for the hotel stay? Are they reimbursing you for what you spend? Convert all that to pounds and add it up.

How much of your total monthly income in GBP(£) is given to family members and other dependents? My answer was no but if your parents or anyone is supporting you add the amounts here.

What is the cost to you personally of your trip in GBP(£)? I put a combination of my flights, accommodation and expenses for this. If someone is helping you pay for this then only put the amount that you are paying in this section so basically what is this personally costing you. I didn’t provide any evidence for this.

The total amount of money you have for this trip? I just put what my total saving was for this answer, for example, AUD 8000. This was supported by bank statements as evidence.

If you want to know how much to save before moving to the UK, I suggest reading ‘How Much Money Should I Save to Move to the UK?’. You can through all my suggestions out the window and wing it! In that case just have enough to show you can support yourself, I always recommend £1,890 as a minimum. 

The cost of the aeroplane, boat or train tickets? Whatever you ticket cost to get to the UK. If you don’t have a ticket then find the most realistic cost by using Skyscanner etc. Slightly ironic that the advice is don’t book you travel before your visa is approved! I didn’t provide any evidence for this.

The cost of your accommodation? I calculated my first months accommodation cost for this answer. I didn’t provide any evidence for this.

The cost of your living expenses? I estimated this cost, for example, £600. It should cover things like transport, estimated food budget etc. It’s a bit of an odd question. I didn’t provide any evidence for this.

If you want to know the cost of living in London I have you covered! It’s based on my costs living here. 

Is someone other than you paying for all or a part of your trip? If someone is paying for a part of your trip this is where you add this. I didn’t have any one supporting me but having a statement from the person/ money in your account will help support the application (that’s just my personal opinion).

Example of my application:

As you can see in Employment and Income section, not all of my questions I had answered actually ended up on the final version. No idea why or whether this has now changed.
As you can see in Employment and Income section, not all of my questions I had answered actually ended up on the final version. No idea why or whether this has now changed.

Family and Friends in the UK

Please enter details of what you plan to do whilst in the UK. My answer was ‘to live and work in the UK’.

Do you have any friends or family in the UK? I didn’t so my answer was no.

Medical Treatment

There is a whole series of questions on whether you have ever received medical treatment in the UK. As someone that never had medical treatment in the UK my answer was no but if you have then put in the relevant information.

UK Ancestry

Finally where you put your heritage and how you qualify for UK Ancestry.

How do you qualify for UK ancestry? Add your relevant grandparents details here.

I provided my granddad’s birth certificate as proof, along side my mums birth certificate as mentioned in an earlier section.

Do you have a job arranged in the UK? You don’t need to have a job lined up to qualify to move to the UK on Ancestry. My answer was no as I didn’t have a job.

For evidence I provided my resume. The GOV UK website states that the evidence can be in the form of job offers you’ve received or a business plan if you’re self-employed.

What is your English Language ability? English is my native language was my answer. If it isn’t just put the level of English you speak (not exactly sure the terminology you should use).

What money is available to pay for your initial expenses such as accommodation and food for yourself and any dependents (if applicable)? My answer was whatever was in my savings account at the time it was just under $8,000. You should add the currency code in front of your answer so the answer should look like AUD 8,000. I also linked this to the same amount I had in the ‘the total amount of money you have for this trip’.

For the evidence I provide 3 months of bank statements to support this.

Example of my application:

Ancestry Visa Application Employment and Income Details
The questions in this section have changed a little since I applied, at least it’s less information you need to enter.

Additional Information

Is there any other information you wish to be considered as part of your application? I didn’t have any extra evidence so I put no for this.

Summary of Documentation 

In the bullets below is a summary of all the evidence I provided for my UK Ancestry visa. I go more into detail about how to get grandparents birth certificates and the process inWhat You Need to Know When Applying for Your UK Ancestry Visa’. 

I find lots of threads asking whether the documents must be originals or copies can be supplied. Just to add clarity to this point always provide originals to be safe, don’t worry the documents are returned to you.

  • The printout of your online application.
  • The copy of your biometrics appointment information.
  • Current passport, plus previous passports.
  • Birth certificate.
  • The birth certificate of your parent (only the parent of the grandparent you’re applying through).
  • The birth certificate of your grandparent.
  • Marriage certificate (to support heritage if unclear).
  • Three months of bank statements showing £1,600 (which was the requirement at the time). Bank statements should be printed on branch-specific letterhead with the contact info for the branch where it was printed. If not, each statement should be stamped and/or signed. If they won’t do that, a letter from a branch manager confirming their authenticity and correctness will suffice.
  • Resume/ CV (to prove that you can and intend to work in the UK) and you can also include printouts of registration emails from UK job sites e.g. Reed, London Jobs, Indeed.
  • I also included my employment contract to support the employment and finances (not sure if it was necessary, just something else I did include).

Hopefully, that has given you some insight into what information you need for your application. If you are unsure reach out to the Home Office or my friends at Britbound who will be able to help you.

More Moving to the UK Articles

katherine nairn profile pic

Hi, I'm Kat, an Australian that moved to London in 2013 to start a new adventure. What a roller-coaster that was! I love helping others move to the UK and people explore the world! I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.

Buy me a coffee at Ko-Fi button


Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Hello Kate, All my documents are in order pertaining to my Ancestral visa, my grandmother (Paternal side). Since my child has her exams in May 2021. The plan is to apply for together. Can I travel first and my dependent's my husband and child travel later or is it necessary for all 3 of us to travel together.

Thank you Rose


Saturday 5th of December 2020

Hi Kat

A further question about whether marriage certificates are required: Following my earlier question, all of us - my grandmother, my mother and I each assumed our husband's name when we married. So, each of us used/s a different surname from the name at birth, which appears on the birth certificate. Does this mean that I must submit each of our three marriage certificates as well?

Thank you. Lee.


Saturday 5th of December 2020

Hello Kat

I am using my maternal grandmother as the grandparent who was born in the UK. I have my mother's birth certificate and my grandmother's certificate. Will I also need to submit my parents' as well as my grandparents' marriage certificates? Or are their birth certificates sufficient? I ask because I am having difficulty obtaining official copies of the marriage certificates.

Thank you. Lee


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Can you track the heritage by the birth certificates?


Monday 26th of October 2020

Hi Kat, Great little blog you have here. I had one question as I will be applying for an Ancestry Visa to the UK in the near future (just waiting for the UK construction industry to hint at a little rise), realising that I missed the October deadline for the NHS fee going up (but NZ was in lockdown and couldn't do it anyway). Did you do your visa application on your own? When you google this it's all "oh it's so hard and complicated", get a visa company to do it - but seems like you navigated this easy(ish). Thanks so much (hope your staying safe),


Thursday 5th of November 2020

I used a company when I applied for mine but for my sisters I just helped her do it. The company honestly I used was a waste of money and even told me that the birth certificate I provided wasn't valid when it was. They had no clue what they were doing. If you're going to use a company then I recommend Britbound and you can also get a discount with them. Just use KATSGONEGLOBAL and you will get 10% off.


Friday 31st of July 2020

Hi Kat! Thank you so much for your brilliantly researched post and answers. I am a medical student studying in Cyprus and I will be applying to work in the NHS. I need my ancestry visa in January as part of the application for the NHS, despite the fact that I won't graduate until May - which is when I will move to the UK. Obviously this is before the 3 month period they want you to stick to. Can I apply earlier and put my date of entry to the UK as e.g. December, enter for a weekend to pick up my visa, then fly back to Cyprus to complete my studies? Or do they expect that your date of entry is the date that you will move to live permanently in the UK? Thank you!


Tuesday 11th of August 2020

I would apply before the £625 comes into effect in Oct 2020. Just using the normal timelines as an example, apply before Oct, get a date to enter for Dec and you have 1 month to enter and pick up your BRP card. They expect your entry date to be when you move but lots of people do travel before they permanently move. It will impact you if you decided to apply for ILR after 5 years as you only have 180 days allowed out of the country in a rolling year.

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