Birth certificates for Ancestry visa

Looking to find out more information about UK Ancestry Visas? Or how UK birth rights are passed down?

This page serves to confirm the required birth certificates to make the Ancestry visa claim.

South African Birth Certificate Explained

Move Up’s website objective is to make travel easy for South Africans by clarifying what visa applications entail. This page therefore serves to create awareness of the product available and that Move Up is able to further assist in a successful visa application.

There are several visa companies out there that can help and there are some companies that only claim that they can. Move Up is best able to point you in the right direction.

Birth certificates are a common reason for delay in these Ancestry visa applications and it is recommended that applicants address this requirement first.

The British government specifies “full birth certificates” as compulsory for this application. In South African terms, this means that Abridged birth certificates (that only specify the applicants place and date of birth) are not acceptable.

One would then assume that Unabridged birth certificates would then satisfy their requirement however in 2004 there were fraudulent certificates being issued which compromised the British government’s ability to accept the Unabridged birth certificates as suitable documents.

In summary, it is recommended that applicants lodge an application with their local Home Affairs and apply for what is known as a Vault Copy of birth certificate.

What is a Vault Copy of Birth certificate you might ask?

At the time of birth, an applicant’s parent(s) manually complete a form. This hand written document is sent to Pretoria and is stored in a “library vault”.

In summary, a vault copy of one’s birth certificate is merely a photocopy of the original hand written certificate that is stamped and signed by South African Home Affairs.


Please try our free birth certificate assessment below if you are looking to claim UK birth rights.

Free Birth Certificate Assessment

The next step in the Ancestral visa application

So, you have applied for your birth certificates. Marriage certificates are another criterion that might be needed if there has been a change in surnames (i.e. if you are claiming from your mother or grandmothers side).

Marriage and birth certificates are the most time consuming factors in a visa application process. The next factor our clients then address is proof of supporting funds.

The next step in an Ancestral visa application from here is straight forward. You can call or submit an online application with Move Up to confirm your visa eligibility. We actually encourage clients to send through copies of the birth certificates they have on hand (via scan and email or fax) so that we can confirm if the UKVI will recognized the information provided.

The best part about showing Move Up your certificates is that we check your qualifying criteria for free. There is no charge for Move Up to confirm your eligibility. Move Up prides itself in not charging clients if they do not qualify.

To find out more about how Move Up helps in visa applications, take a look at our How Visa Process Works page.

How Visa Process Operates Dependents of Ancestry Visa