Notes on the UK Ancestry Visa Process

PLEASE NOTE THIS PAGE HAS DETAILED INFORMATION THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST ONLY TO INDIVIDUALS APPLYING FOR A UK ANCESTRY VISA –  a bit of a yawner if you are not interested in the minutia.  

ALSO IT REPRESENTS OUR EXPERIENCE – INDIVIDUAL CASES CAN VARY SO YOU MAY NOT HAVE THE SAME RESULTS.

Update on visa issue – for a complete history of our experience with the ‘Ancestry Visa’ I suggest you read from the bottom forward.

Sometimes you just go with the ‘best guess’ in the murky world of government regulation.

To recapitulate, at last count we had applied for Heather’s visa, as a dependent based on my ancestry visa.  Everything went swimmingly until we went to pay for the five years of health coverage – a requirement.

The UK Visa site would allow us to pay only for one year.  So we paid for the year, sent the application through the Vancouver Visa Services office, and waited.  [Again Visa Services is simply a company that handles paper and biometrics – you need not sweat about an interview.]

About the time we were expecting her visa to be processed, two weeks after we submitted her application, she received an e-mail telling us we had to pay for five years, not one – which of course we knew already.  Fortunately this time they sent two links, the most important one linked to the UK Consulate in New York so that we could pay in U.S. dollars.  We dutifully paid it immediately, and waited.

The following week [we suspect they bring files out on a rotational basis] we received word that the visa had been issued, and her passport would be returned via DHL through a prior arrangement with the Visa Services office in Vancouver.

It arrived safely?.

Now for the next issue which is tied into the other part of the visa process.  In preparing for our trip, to get the best choice of Airbnb in Paris, we felt we could not wait so in February we booked a place to stay.  Now we had our visas in hand BUT…

…the ‘but’ is once we arrive in England, eight days later, our biometric card will need to be picked up at our designated post office.  However we timed our departure based on how long we thought it would take to find permanent accommodation…about six days.

We now have our departure for Paris booked for two days prior to the arrival of our biometric card.  The biometric card is essential  for our return to England, so we have no choice.  Either the card arrives early, or we will eat the cost of our train tickets and initial nights’ accommodation in Paris.  It is hopeless to contact UK visas, we tried and again their online ’email a question’ section is absolutely useless.

Incidentally we believe this could have been resolved had we known it is timed for one week after our arrival in the UK – AS RECORDED ON OUR VISA APPLICATION.  Had we put a week earlier as our arrival date on our original application for a visa it would have resolved this problem.

So once again the expression that applies is ‘inshallah’.  

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