The Right to Abode entitles the candidate to live and work freely in the UK without any restrictions. Those with the Right to Abode are free from immigration control and do not have a time limit attached to their stay in the UK. Candidates are also eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or can register as a British Citizen. All British and Commonwealth citizens have the Right to Abode.

British Citizen’s Eligibility

All British nationals automatically have the Right of Abode. Dual nationals who do not have a British passport may obtain a Right of Abode stamp in their foreign passport to enable them to travel to the UK without any restrictions or problems. All those who obtained citizenship on 1st January 1983, the date the British Nationality Act came into force, will have the Right of Abode in the UK. The following categories automatically receive Right to Abode:

If an individual has gained UK citizenship either through birth, adoption, naturalisation or has been registered in the UK. If an individual’s parent was a UK citizen either through birth, adoption, or naturalisation at the time of his or her birth. If the individual’s parent qualifies for the Right of Abode through birth, adoption or naturalisation. If the individual was a UK citizen before 1st January 1983 and had been living in the UK continuously for five years, during which time they have met with all immigration terms did not have any time limit on the duration of their stay. If the individual is or was the spouse of someone with the right of abode in the UK. 

Commonwealth Citizen’s Eligibility

Commonwealth citizens have Right to Abode if they have been a citizen of a Commonwealth country prior to 1 January 1983. This makes the Commonwealth citizen free from UK immigration control and they are not required to seek permission from immigration to enter the UK. These citizens can freely live and work in the UK without any restrictions. Commonwealth citizens qualify for the right to abode under the following circumstances:

  • If a Commonwealth citizen has a parent who, at the time of his/her birth or legal adoption, was a citizen of the United Kingdom through birth.
  • If a Commonwealth citizen is or was the spouse of someone who has the Right of Abode in the UK. In order to prove their candidature for Right to Abode the applicants need to produce either of the following documents:
  • A UK passport declaring them as a citizen of the UK and colonies.
  • A foreign or Commonwealth passport having a certificate of entitlement.
  • If they were born before January 1st 1983 and have a UK born parent.

Certificate of entitlements are granted as proof that an individual has the right to live and work in the UK without facing any immigration restrictions. This certificate is usually issued to individuals who have the right to reside in the UK but are not in possession of a British passport or identity card. The certificate is a sticker that is placed in a valid passport and it expires only when the passport does. To obtain another certificate for the new passport, a new application will need to be made

Qualifying Citizens 

The following Commonwealth citizens qualify for the Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode:

• Either through birth, adoption or registration.
• Those legally adopted before 1st January 1983 by a UK born parent.
• A woman who has married a man prior to 1st January 1983 with the right of abode.
• Those that had the Right of Abode on 1st January 1983 and became British Citizens through five years continuous residence.
• Candidates born before 1st January 1983 to a UK born mother or UK born biological father.
• Individuals born to a Southern Irish mother or their biological father was born in Southern Ireland.

A Certificate of Entitlement will not be issued under the following conditions:

• If already in possession of a UK passport stating they are a British citizen.
• If already in possession of a UK passport describing them as a British subject with the right of abode in the UK.
• If they have an ID card that describes them as a British citizen.
• If they have an ID card describing them as a British subject with the right of abode in the UK.