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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having discovered and received plenty of useful advice on this forum, I thought I would describe my own experience of applying for a UK ancestry visa with the hope that this experience will be useful to someone in future.

I am a South African national living in the US (I recently graduated from a US university), so I sent my UK ancestry visa application to the NY application centre. The visa application cost $460 or so, and I chose to pay the additional $150 to expedite the application. When it arrived in NY, I was informed by email that non-settlement visas had been taking about 8 days to process. A few minutes later I received another email acknowledging the priority status of my application, and informing me that the visa would take about 48 hours to process. This proved to be correct: two days later I received another email that the visa had been approved. My documents were mailed to me the following day.

I included the following documents:

General:
My current and previous passports.
The stamped printout of my biometric appointment receipt.
A cover letter detailing the evidence I had included regarding ancestry, maintenance and so on, and an explanation of the source of my (recently acquired) funds.
A Eurostar booking itinerary showing my date of arrival in the UK (I did not include the flight booking from the US to Europe).

Ancestry:
My grandfather's (mother's side) birth certificate - a certified copy issued by the general registrar office in England. Orange and yellow document.
My mother's birth certificate - a certified copy issued by the dept. of home affairs in South Africa. I believe this is the "vault copy" with a DHA stamp and signature.
My unabridged birth certificate showing my mother's full maiden name.
A certified colour copy of the picture page of my mother's UK passport, which was obtained through her father's UK citizenship.

Funds and intention to work:
3 months' bank statements (printed from my online account) showing a balance of around $4000 in my savings account. This balance was pretty new; for most of the 3 months there was little in my account.
A faxed copy of a reference letter from my bank confirming the current and average balances of my accounts, and the dates when they were opened.
3 month's credit card statements showing an unused $3000 line of credit.
An original contract of employment with my UK employer, signed by myself and the HR director, showing my annual salary.

Documents showing proof of legal status in US:
US F-1 visa (in passport)
I-94 form (in passport)
I-20 signed by my university (although I recently graduated).
OPT employment authorization card.

Other documents included:
A CV showing education and employment history.
A print-out of my online salary slip from my current employer.

Other documents included but not used (because copies and originals returned to me):
An original letter offering employment from my UK employer.
3 month's bank statements for my checking account showing salary from current employer.
An original transcript from my university.
A certified copy of my mother's marriage certificate.

Hope this information is useful to folks!
 

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Thanks! This is very useful info for me! My husband and I are in the process of applying for our Visas as well- My husband will be claiming UK ancestry on his mother's side. It will be a little more complicated I think because instead of just my husband it will be him, myself and our 3 children. You provided a lot of info in your application- I couldn't find anywhere that said we needed a cover letter or bank statements- were you told to provide this info or were you just being proactive and providing all you could? Thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I provided a cover letter to (1) show which documents were meant to provide evidence for each criteria, and (2) to explain the source of my funds, which I believe they want to see. It is probably not necessary, but it also helped me by functioning as a mental checklist.

You do need to show that you have funds however, particularly if you do not have employment lined up. This may be fulfilled by sending a reference letter from your bank showing funds available and the date the account was opened. Note that the UK officials kept my statements as well as this reference letter, suggesting that they took both into consideration.

It is not particularly complicated if your husband will be applying with 4 dependants, except that they will probably want to see evidence of sufficient funds for all 5 of you.

Good luck!
 

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Hi there, I am researching how to apply for an ancestral visa and I have a question for you:
I noticed you didn't do the TB test - is that because you were living in another country at the time of your application?
I did the TB test years ago when I was going to the USA to au pair. I lived in SA then. But now I am living in Brazil and its not one of the countries listed. I haven't even been to SA in the last 9 years.
Is it safe to assume I don't need to provide the TB test then? I would hate to leave something out and then I get denied.
 

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Hi

what is the process if you no longer have your previous passport? I lost mine a few years back and had to apply for a new passport
 

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Excellent recount, thanks for that nomad.

I am a fiancee of a UK Ancestry applicant. We applied today, and are feeling out the forum for other successful applicants. We aren't married, and common-law, so was a bit heavier on the relationship proving side of things.

Anyway, good to hear what you put in. Thanks for the list.

Greg
 
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