Getting a UK ancestry visa

Background

I moved to the UK in the beginning of 2010 and was lucky enough to be eligible to apply for an ancestry visa. The biggest benefit to getting a UK ancestry visa is that you don’t need a company to sponsor you. If you decide to change companies you can do without fear of being kicked out of the country the moment you are not employed. As far as being appealing to studios, a recruiter I spoke with in 2009 Ben Owen called the ancestry visa a golden ticket. It pretty much frees up any hiring hurdles a company might have with hiring a foreign national. Crossing into and out of the UK was a breeze as well. Actually getting the Ancestry visa was a bit of a pain in the ass though… It took a fair amount of research to figure out what I needed to get, what to send and to who and where. And this is what I did:

 

I went here:
https://www.visainfoservices.com/Pages/Welcome.aspx

Which sent me to here:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/

Which further sent me to
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/

Finally letting me ACTUALLY apply via this link here:
http://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/ApplyNow.aspx

All of the links above give bits of information in some form of information or another, but as far as documents go:

What they want:

  • Grandparent(s) birth certificates you are applying through, MUST HAVE PLACE OF BIRTH ON THE CERTIFICATE
  • Grandparents wedding certificate (if possible)
  • parent(s) birth certificates, MUST HAVE PARENTS NAMES ON THE CERTIFICATE
  • Parents wedding certificate (if possible)
  • Your original birth certificate, MUST HAVE PARENTS NAMES ON THE CERTIFICATE
  • Your current passport
  • Any other passports you may currently hold
  • A passport photo taken in the last 6 weeks
  • Financial info – Previous 6 months of banking info
  • Pay stub
  • Proof you will┬ábe able to support yourself for up to 3 months if you cannot find work. (You will not be eligible for social benefits/employment insurance/dole.)

Actually doing it

After filling out the online application and paying the few hundred dollar fee, you will be prompted to print your application and make an appointment to give your biometrics. The office is at 666 Burrard Street. Once you are there they will take fingerprint scans of all 10 digits, and another photograph. They will put your application, passport, and photograph in sealed official envelope. Next, is your supporting documents. I put everything in a nice binder, with a table of contents and a summary of all of my info, including my SIN, Carecard number, Date of birth, Drivers license number, and a financial summary of my assets/liabilities. Make sure it’s presentable and not a bunch of loose documents. This is a major tip! Make it as nice and professional as you can! Treat it like you are presenting yourself to a parole board. You can present yourself as best as you can but ultimately it’s in the hands of the reviewer. Take your binder, official envelope from the biometric centre and courier it to the address that you got from the biometric centre. Make it priority mail. It may cost more, but it ‘shows that you are serious’ about applying for a visa. They say it can take up to 12 weeks… I got mine about a week later.

There you go. You get an email when you are approved/denied, and they send it all back to you express post.