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UK Ancestry Visa: the ‘employment’ or ‘seeking employment’ requirement

In order to make a successful application under the UK Ancestry visa category, paragraph 186(iv) of the Immigration Rules requires that you must show that you can work and intend to take or seek employment in the UK.

UK Ancestry Visa: the ’employment’ or ‘seeking employment’ requirement

In order to meet this requirement, the Home Office must be satisfied that you either:

  • have a job in the UK; or
  • genuinely intend to look for a job (or become self-employed) and are realistically able to do this.

In assessing this, the Home Office is likely to consider the following:

  • your age;
  • your health, namely, any medical problems that could impede your ability to take up employment.

However, an application cannot be refused on the basis of a disability alone.

You need only demonstrate that you are able to work and that you genuinely intend to do so. You do not need to be working at the time that you apply. In addition, you are not allowed to claim public funds while in the UK, as stated under paragraph 186 (v) of the rules.

One good thing about the UK Ancestry visa is that there are generally no restrictions on the type of work you can do in the UK. You may wish to work in paid employment, set up your own business or do both.  You can also study alongside your work and bring family members to the UK.

Planning ahead

The earliest you can apply for a UK Ancestry visa is 3 months before you travel and you should generally get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.  Bearing in mind this time frame, it may be expedient to begin looking for jobs well before you make the application so that you are adequately able to evidence that you have been seeking employment, if you have not already secured a role at the date of application.  

It may also be useful to check the visa processing times page here to see how long getting a visa might take in your country so that you can plan to gather evidence of employment or seek employment in good time.

Contact our Immigration Lawyers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application for a UK Ancestry Visa, contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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