UK Ancestry Visa Application

Note this goes into more detail regarding the UK Ancestry Visa to provide information about issues that may arise when completing an application, so may not be of interest to a general reader.
 Garry’s visa application has gone the the UK Consulate in New York City.  Remember when being in the Commonwealth meant something?  Too bad they don’t have facilities in Ottawa.
Preparing the application was like swimming blind through murky muck.  Too often there was no hint of an explanation nor was there an explanation elsewhere on the internet.  For example [in case others are applying for a UK Ancestry visa]:

  • The applicant must be outside of the UK at the time of application.  Sounds good but then unexpectedly they request what UK post office you want your biometric card sent to – duh – I am not in the UK.  Later thanks to Reddit I believe I found the explanation.  Initially if approved you receive a cachet for entry to the UK.  Within a specified period you must appear at the post office you referenced in order to claim the biometric card.  Why not explain this to people?
  • I went to pay the visa fee online but no where could I locate it.  It turns out you go and pay the health care premium — THEN it sends you off to the portal for the visa fee payment.
  • Initially I read that they need my photo and fingerprints.  I went to the private company office that handles the UK application.  That office then forwards the application to the UK Consulate in New York.  They said they will take photos and fingerprints when I come in for an appointment.  Why not have an algorithm that shows the process?

Following completion of the online application and paying the fee, I was off to my appointment with the VAC.  [For history lovers there is an irony – the VAC in Vancouver is located at 1066 West Hastings — 1066 AD of course is the Battle of Hastings when the Normans conquered England.] 

VAC is a worldwide company that handles paper on behalf of many countries including UK and Canada.  There they checked over the application, took my photo and fingerprints, and, then we sent all of my papers, including my passport, off to New York via DHL.  In three weeks we will know.

There is no ‘age’ barrier.  I am 67.  We will see if they have a hidden agenda.  I clearly qualify based on a maternal grandmother, all of the documents were there.  Also funds were not an issue.  If there is discrimination it will be based on ’employment’.  I included both my CV and an outline of initial efforts to locate employment.  So we will see.

An interesting side note – we had to prepay our UK health coverage.  It is pricey – but it covers us for five years.  Also if someone is over the age of 65 the UK health care system covers prescriptions, and, also covers us in other EU countries if we are visiting.   In Canada we would have to pay for shots if we are traveling to an area of higher health risk such as India.  In the UK these shots are covered.  We are hoping/planning to visit India as part of this extended period away.

Given costs we thought it foolish to apply for Heather’s visa at the same time.  Hers depends on mine and each one ends up costing several thousand dollars.  So the three week wait begins.