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It’s true – you can move to the UK with your partner if they hold a valid Ancestry visa. Many UK Ancestry visa holders don’t realise this, which is a shame because it is one of the best ways to live in the UK while you work towards full British citizenship.

Happy couple cheersing each other in a pub

Why it’s great to be a partner of an Ancestry visa holder

The great thing about being a partner of an Ancestry visa holder is that you will enjoy the same benefits as they do. This visa remains one of the most popular because it allows the holder to live and work in the UK almost without restriction. The minimal restrictions that do, however, affect the primary Ancestry visa holder, will affect you too.

As a partner of someone with an Ancestry visa, there are certain terms and conditions that you’ll have to fulfil. Most applicants won’t struggle to satisfy these, but if you make a mistake when submitting your application, you may be subject to costly refusals or delays. It is strongly advised that you approach an independent immigration expert for help with these kinds of complex applications.

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A partner visa that makes gaining British citizenship easier

Anyone who has legally lived in the UK on the same visa for five years will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). ILR is the precursor status you hold before you can apply for full British citizenship. You must hold ILR for at least one year before you can apply for citizenship.

This is where it gets interesting: As a partner of an Ancestry visa holder, you will be able to apply for ILR when your partner does. This could greatly reduce the amount of time you need to spend in the UK before you apply for ILR.

For instance, if your partner has been living in the UK for four years on their Ancestry visa, and you join them in that year, you will be eligible to apply for ILR when they are. This saves you money, as well as four years of waiting and will also accelerate your naturalisation as a British citizen.

You will still need to satisfy all the criteria for ILR, and you need to have held ILR for at least a year before you can apply for British citizenship, but the benefit of taking this route is immense.

But wait, how does one apply for an Ancestry visa?

Any citizen of a commonwealth country who has a British-born grandparent can apply for an Ancestry visa. It is one of the most popular UK visas in countries like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and other countries with links to the former British empire.

Apply for your Ancestry visa today

As with all non-standard visa applications, you need to get the advice of a UK immigration expert. We’ve been helping people and their partners from around the world successfully pursue their UK citizenship goals for over 20 years. Send us an email at or give us a call on +44 (0) 20 7759 7580.

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