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Two part question here:

  1. Can I apply for an ancestry visa (eligible) before my current student visa expires? Or do I have to wait till my Tier 4 expires THEN apply?
  2. And if so, can I apply from within the UK, or do I have to go back to my home country?

Much appreciated.

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From the UK government website on the ancestry visa (bolding mine):

You can apply for a UK Ancestry visa if you:

  • are a Commonwealth citizen
  • are applying from outside the UK
  • are able to prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK
  • are able and planning to work in the UK
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work
  • study
  • bring family members

You can’t:

  • change (‘switch’) into this visa if you’re already in the UK on another visa
  • get public funds

It doesn't appear that you have to wait until your current visa expires, but you do have to wait until you have returned to your home country

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