stlvsanc

 

The battle between these two visas has been taking place for quite some now. We have 2016 and 2018 comparisons to reference. Now, we look at 2019’s comparisons (whilst factoring in new changes).

Often South Africans find themselves trying to weigh up their options (to see which approach serves them best). We find there are cases where applicants are entitled to both visas (UK Ancestry visa and the UK Settlement visa).

The following conditions (to have this choice of the two visas) applies:

    • Main applicant has a UK born grandparent.
    • Main applicant also has a claim to British nationality (but has never requested one).
    • Main applicant does not have a UK born parent, mother or father (this is a new 2019 provision).
      • In cases where the main applicant has a UK born parent, the Main Applicant is expected to claim British nationality and the Ancestry visa is no longer an option.
    • Main applicant has a married like partner joining them (hereafter referred to as “partner”) and/or has minor dependents joining them (hereafter referred to as “minor dependents”).

To get started, each visa is defined as followed:

UK ANCESTRY VISA (main applicant) UK SETTLEMENT VISA (main applicant)
Hereafter referred to as “ANC“. Hereafter referred to as “STL“.
Caters for South Africans that have a grandparent that was born in the UK. Caters for South Africans that can be family dependents to British passport holders.

Family Dependency

UK Settlement (Spousal) Visa

R13,700.00

Now that we have introduced our contestants, I need to clarify immigration terms of main applicant.

In ANC terms, the main applicant applies to the applicant that has a UK born grandparent. This allows for married like dependent, ie partner, to join and allows for minor dependents to also claim dependency to the main applicants Ancestry claim.

In STL terms, the previous “main applicant” shifts in allocation. For the STL to apply, the previous “main applicant” needs to make their claim for British citizenship. When they become British, they become defined as “sponsor”. The married like partner becomes the visas main applicant and the minors also follow suit as “dependents”.

In summary, the ANC main applicant can also be the sponsor of the STL and the married like dependent (seen as “partner”) of ANC visa becomes the main applicant of the STL visa.

Now, let’s take a look at the basics of their offerings:

  UK Ancestry Work Visa (ANC)   UK Settlement Work Visa (STL)
gift

ANC caters for South Africans with UK born grandparents.

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STL caters for South Africans with British national immediate family member.

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ANC is issued for initial 5 years.

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STL is issued for initial 2.5 years.

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ANC grants settlement rights (right to live and work in the UK).

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STL grants settlement right (right to live and work in the UK).

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ANC permits immediate family dependents to join main applicant.

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STL permits immediate family dependents to join main applicant.

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ANC takes 15 working days to process (standard).

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STL takes 60 working days to process (standard).

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ANC is commonly refused when applicants supply unrecognized supporting documents and incorrect birth certificates.

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STL has the highest refusal rate and majority of cases are refused where British nationals do not sufficiently evidence the financial requirement.

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ANC takes 5 years of continued UK residence to earn permanent resident status. It takes 6 continuous years of UK residence to earn British nationality.

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STL takes 5 years of continued UK residence to earn permanent resident status. It takes 6 continuous years of UK residence to earn British nationality.

Before the battle begins, upfront we can already draw the following conclusions:

1. ANC (Ancestry visa) is issued initially twice as long as the STL (Settlement visa).
2. ANC is processed and issued quicker than the STL.
3. STL has the highest risk of refusal, therefore ANC has less risk.

That means we are entering a match where the ANC has 3 clear advantages over the STL.

Nothing has changed in this regard between 2016 and 2018 comparisons. ANC is the preferred option.

To best compare these two categories, let us take a look at the long term view.

LOGIC

Logic dictates that surely it should be more of an advantage for South Africans to pass through the UK border with a British national (STL) than if they claim birthrights from a distant relative (ANC). Logic would also assume that joining a British national in the UK (as a family dependent) would have more benefits.

The reality is that there are absolutely no additional benefits for South Africans for the first 3 years. Logically ANC and STL are equals. They both grant the same settlement rights (initially).

If you choose the ANC visa, your kids will not miss out on free schooling or free health care (initially). The STL visa grants the same permission and therefore initial clearance of ANC and STL requires applicants to pay for schooling and health care upon arrival.

Only when ILR status is granted (seen as permanent resident status), can the kids qualify for free schooling and free public health care. This takes 5 years of UK residence in the ANC application.

GET A BRITISH PASSPORT QUICKER?

Common confusion experienced here.

In ANC terms, the main applicant (and all dependents) have to earn British nationality through residence. 6 continued years of UK residence applies.

In STL terms, the sponsor will have British nationality, the minors can earn British citizenship after the sponsor has lived in the UK for 3 years (quicker way for kids to get British passports). The main applicant (married like partner) will still need to go through the 6 continued years to earn British citizenship through residence.

So, the STL visa has some benefits to family members being able to get British citizenship quicker.

MEETING QUALIFYING REQUIREMENTS

ANC’s biggest hurdle (time consuming factor) relates to birth certificates. This is a common delay in these cases.
STL’s biggest hurdle (technical factor) relates to the financial requirement. This is why these cases are commonly refused.

Naturally, main applicants who have the choice between ANC or STL take the birth certificates (processing times) into consideration.

Move Up however helps present birth certificate solutions (to help source the documents through third parties).

What this means is that ANC’s hurdle is no longer much of a factor. If anything, it frees the main applicant from risks and gives the upper edge to ANC.

INITIAL COSTS

OK. Now that our contestants have warmed up, we can really begin this battle.

Number of Family dependents

A Couple (alone).

This scenario applies to couples only. That includes both married and unmarried relationships (with legally recognized cohabitation).

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other is seen as a married like dependent (1 family dependent).

Summary of 2 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 1 ANC family dependent.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant (UK Grandparent) Married Like Partner
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £2,531.00 £2,531.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa.

Summary of 1 visa applicant. Married like dependent on British national (seen as the main applicant of UK Settlement visa).

Calculation for STL
Main (British Passport Holder) Married Like Partner
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £122.00 £2,723.00

Summary for Couples.

ANC has a combined total of £5,062 (2 x £2,531).
STL has a combined total of £2,845 (£122 + £2,723).

The conclusion is, therefore, STL visa is initially cheaper for couples.

A Couple with 1 minor.

This scenario applies to couples that share a biological minor dependent (that will be below the age of 18 years old at the time of visa submission) looking to permanently relocate.

Please note that stepchildren (minors from previous relationships) have more additional factors of consideration.

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one parent has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other partner is seen as a married like dependent (partner). Together they bring their minor (therefore 2 family dependents).

Summary of 3 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 2 ANC family dependent.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant Partner Minor
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00 £2,000.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £2,531.00 £2,531.00 £2,531.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa (seen as the main applicant of UK Settlement visa). The minor will also need the UK Settlement visa (seen as the family dependent of British passport holder).

Summary of 2 visa applicants. Married like dependent on British national and a minor dependent.

Calculation for STL
British Passport Holder Partner Minor
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00 £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00 £1,200.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £122.00 £2,723.00 £2,723.00

Summary for Couples with 1 Minor Dependent.

ANC has a combined total of £7,593 (3 x £2,531).
STL has a combined total of £5,568 (£122 + (2 x £2,723)).

The conclusion is, therefore, STL visa is initially cheaper for couples with 1 minor dependent.

A Couple with 2 minors.

This scenario applies to couples that share two biological minor dependents (that will be below the age of 18 years old at the time of visa submission) looking to permanently relocate.

Please note that stepchildren (minors from previous relationships) have more additional factors of consideration. The same cost though.

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one parent has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other partner is seen as a married like dependent (partner). Together they bring their two minors (therefore 3 family dependents).

Summary of 4 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 3 ANC family dependents.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant Partner Minor
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00 £2,000.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £2,531.00 £2,531.00 £2,531.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa (seen as the main applicant of UK Settlement visa). Each minor will need the UK Settlement visa (as the family dependent of British passport holder).

Summary of 3 visa applicant. Married like dependent on British national (main applicant) and 2 minor dependents.

Calculation for STL
British Passport Holder Partner Minor
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00 £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00 £1,200.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £122.00 £2,723.00 £2,723.00

Summary for Couples with 2 Minor Dependent.

ANC has a combined total of £10,124 (4 x £2,531).
STL has a combined total of £8,291 (£122 + (3 x £2,723)).

The conclusion is, therefore, STL visa is initially cheaper for couples with 2 minor dependents.

A Couple with 3 minors.

This scenario applies to couples that share three biological minor dependents (that will be all below the age of 18 years old at the time of visa submission) looking to permanently relocate.

Please note that stepchildren (minors from previous relationships) have more additional factors of consideration. Same costs though.

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one parent has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other partner is seen as a married like dependent (partner). Together they bring their minors (therefore 4 family dependents).

Summary of 5 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 4 ANC family dependents.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant Partner Minor
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00 £2,000.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £2,531.00 £2,531.00 £2,531.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa (seen as UK Settlement visas main applicant. Each minor will need to consider the UK Settlement visa as well (seen as minor dependents of British national).

Summary of 4 visa applicant. Married like dependent on British national (main applicant) and 3 minor dependents.

Calculation for STL
British Passport Holder Partner Minor
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00 £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00 £1,200.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £124.00 £2,723.00 £2,723.00

Summary for Couples with 3 Minor Dependent.

ANC has a combined total of £12,655 (5 x £2,531).
STL has a combined total of £11,014 (£122 + (4 x £2,723)).

The conclusion is, therefore, STL visa is initially cheaper for couples with 3 minor dependents.

OK. STL visa has stepped up to the plate and is cheaper initially (in all scenarios).


TOTAL COSTS

We work on the basis of understanding that the main applicant of either the STL or Spouse Dependent on ANC visa spends 6 continuous years in the UK. It does not make allowance for either case to have spent time outside of the UK of longer than 180 days per annum.

Another factor of consideration is that we work on the basis of understanding that in 6 years time, the minor will remain under the age of 16 years (old). Different costs are incurred for adult cases (British passport applications specifically).

Further to this, we operate with the understanding that the family in question fly over together and start UK residence together.

We are simply asking “which approach is cheaper in the long run?

Number of Family Dependents

A Couple (alone)

This scenario applies to couples only. We are looking at the whole transaction from start to finish.

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other is seen as a married like dependent (1 family dependent).

Summary of 2 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 1 ANC family dependent.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant (UK Grandparent) Married Like Partner
Entry Clearance
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00
Extension
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00 £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00 £1,330.00
Request British passport. £122.00 £122.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £6,372.00 £6,372.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa.

Summary of 1 visa applicant. Married like dependent on British national (seen as the main applicant of UK Settlement visa).

Calculation for STL
British Passport Holder Married Like Partner
Entry Clearance
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00
Extension
Further Leave to Remain £1,033.00
NHS Contribution £1,200.00
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00
Request British passport. £122.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £122.00 £8,797.00

Summary for Couples.

ANC has a combined total of £12,744 (2 x £6,372).
STL has a combined total of £8,919 (£122 + £8,797).

Based on the current visa fees, the conclusion (based on total expected transaction) is that STL visa is cheaper for couples.

A Couple with 1 minor.

This scenario applies to couples that share a biological minor dependent (that will be below the age of 18 years old at the time of visa submission) looking to permanently relocate.

Please note that stepchildren (minors from previous relationships) have more additional factors of consideration.

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one parent has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other partner is seen as a married like dependent (partner). Together they bring their minor (therefore 2 family dependents).

Summary of 3 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 2 ANC family dependent.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant Partner Minor
Entry Clearance
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00 £2,000.00
Extension
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00 £2,389.00 £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00 £1,330.00 £1,330.00
Request British passport. £122.00 £122.00 £86.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £6,372.00 £6,372.00 £6,336.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa. So too will their biological minor.

Summary of 2 visa applicants. Married like dependent of British national (seen as the main applicant of UK Settlement visa) and a minor dependent (seen as the minor dependent of British passport holder – also lodging UK Settlement visa dependency).

Calculation for STL
British Passport Holder Partner Minor
Entry Clearance
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00 £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00 £1,200.00
Extension
Further Leave to Remain £1,033.00 £1,033.00
NHS Contribution £1,200.00 £1,200.00
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00 £1,012.00
Request British passport. £122.00 £86.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £122.00 £8,797.00 £6,054.00

Summary for Couples with 1 Minor Dependent.

ANC has a combined total of £19,080.00 ((2 x £6,372.00) + £6,336.00).
STL has a combined total of £14,973.00 (£122 + £8,797.00 + £6,054.00).

Based on the current visa fees, the conclusion (based on total expected transaction) is that the STL visa is cheaper for couples with 1 minor dependent.

A Couple with 2 minors.

This scenario applies to couples that share two biological minor dependents (that will be below the age of 18 years old at the time of visa submission) looking to permanently relocate.

Please note that stepchildren (minors from previous relationships) have more additional factors of consideration. The same cost though.

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one parent has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other partner is seen as a married like dependent (partner). Together they bring their two minors (therefore 3 family dependents).

Summary of 4 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 3 ANC family dependents.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant Partner Minor
Entry Clearance
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00 £2,000.00
Extension
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00 £2,389.00 £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00 £1,330.00 £1,330.00
Request British passport. £122.00 £122.00 £86.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £6,372.00 £6,372.00 £6,336.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa. So too will their 2 biological minor.

Summary of 3 visa applicants. Married like dependent of British national (seen as the main applicant of UK Settlement visa) and 2 minor dependents (seen as the minor dependent of British passport holder – also lodging UK Settlement visa dependency).

Calculation for STL
British Passport Holder Partner Minor
Entry Clearance
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00 £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00 £1,200.00
Extension
Further Leave to Remain £1,033.00 £1,033.00
NHS Contribution £1,200.00 £1,200.00
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00 £1,012.00
Request British passport. £122.00 £86.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £122.00 £8,797.00 £6,054.00

Summary for Couples with 2 Minor Dependent.

ANC has a combined total of £25,416.00 ((2 x £6,372.00) + (2 x £6,336.00)).
STL has a combined total of £21,027.00 (£122 + £8,797.00 + (2 x £6,054.00)).

Based on the current visa fees, the conclusion (based on total expected transaction) is that the STL visa is cheaper for couples with 2 minor dependents.

A Couple with 3 minors.

This scenario applies to couples that share three biological minor dependents (that will be all below the age of 18 years old at the time of visa submission) looking to permanently relocate.

Please note that stepchildren (minors from previous relationships) have more additional factors of consideration. Same costs though.

ANC Consideration
In visa terms, one parent has a UK born grandparent (main applicant) and the other partner is seen as a married like dependent (partner). Together they bring their minors (therefore 4 family dependents).

Summary of 5 visa applicants. ANC main applicant and 4 ANC family dependents.

Calculation for ANC
Main Applicant Partner Minor
Entry Clearance
British Passport
Visa Fee £531.00 £531.00 £531.00
NHS £2,000.00 £2,000.00 £2,000.00
Extension
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00 £2,389.00 £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00 £1,330.00 £1,330.00
Request British passport. £122.00 £122.00 £86.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £6,372.00 £6,372.00 £6,336.00

STL Consideration
In visa terms, one partner has a British passport (and therefore cannot apply for UK visa) and the other partner will need a visa. So too will their 2 biological minor.

Summary of 3 visa applicants. Married like dependent of British national (seen as the main applicant of UK Settlement visa) and 2 minor dependents (seen as the minor dependent of British passport holder – also lodging UK Settlement visa dependency).

Calculation for STL
British Passport Holder Partner Minor
Entry Clearance
British Passport £122.00
Visa Fee £1,523.00 £1,523.00
NHS £1,200.00 £1,200.00
Extension
Further Leave to Remain £1,033.00 £1,033.00
NHS Contribution £1,200.00 £1,200.00
Permanent Residence
Indefinite Leave to Remain £2,389.00
Naturalization
Request British citizenship. £1,330.00 £1,012.00
Request British passport. £122.00 £86.00
TOTAL PER APPLICANT £122.00 £8,797.00 £6,054.00

Summary for Couples with 3 Minor Dependent.

ANC has a combined total of £31,752.00 ((2 x £6,372.00) + (3 x £6,336.00)).
STL has a combined total of £27,081.00 (£122 + £8,797.00 + (3 x £6,054.00)).

Based on the current visa fees, the conclusion (based on total expected transaction) is that the STL visa is cheaper for couples with 3 minor dependents.


CONCLUSION

This comparison serves to confirm that the Ancestry is quicker and easier to apply for.

Move Up encourages applicants who can choose to consider that the decision between these visas should not be based on cost alone. If you are looking to make a cost-based decision, STL takes the title as cheaper visa (in all scenarios).

There are however a number of additional factors that need to be taken into consideration. There are family variables we have not taken into consideration in this comparison.

Factors such as the British governments visa fee for example. It is the only fee that is forfeited in the event of a visa refusal. Given that the STL visa has the highest visa fee (and the highest rate of refusal) are two factors of consideration that should sway more away from STL option.

Hopefully you found that this insight helpful.


THE NEXT STEP

If Move Up can help clarify the visa transaction, just imagine how much more helpful our friendly consultants are in helping prepare successful first-time submissions.

For those considering the ANC as their families best next option:

Free birth certificate assessment

For those considering the STL as their families best next option:

Free financial requirement assessment