Right of abode in the UK is immigration status. One who has the right to abode status has been entitled the right to enter and live in the UK without any restrictions.
All British Citizens automatically hold right to abode and since 1983 it is not possible to obtain this status for anyone without being a British Citizen. However, one should not compare the right of abode with indefinite leave to remain (ILR) which is also another way of residency in the UK without any restriction. All those having the right of abode can live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions.
Qualifications & Eligibility for Right of Abode
Following Commonwealth citizens qualify for the Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode:
- Either by birth, adoption or registration;
- Those legally adopted before 1st January 1983 by a person born in the UK;
- A woman who married a man prior to 1st January 1983 with the right of abode;
- Applicants who are born before 1st January 1983 to a mother born in the UK or UK born biological father.
Eligibility for Right of Abode
- A citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who was born, adopted, naturalised or registered in the UK or Islands; or
- A citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies born to or adopted by a parent who, at the time of the person’s birth or adoption, had the right of abode; or
- A citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who was ordinarily resident in the UK for any continuous period of 5 years before 31 Dec 1982; or
- A Commonwealth citizen (not a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies) with a parent / adoptive parent who, at the time of the person’s birth/adoption, was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by birth in the United Kingdom; or
- A female Commonwealth citizen who is, or has been, married to a man with right of abode at any time before 31 Dec 1982; or
- A citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies woman who is, or has been married to a man with right of abode at any time before 31 Dec 1982.
Proof of right of abode
Right of abode can be proved by having a passport which describes you as a British Citizen or British subject with right of abode; else you need to have a ‘certificate of entitlement’ to the right of abode in the UK issued by the UK government or on its behalf. You can also apply for ‘certificate of entitlement’.
Right of abode can be obtained if you are a commonwealth national and one of your parents was born a British Citizen or you are commonwealth woman married to a British Citizen before 1 January 1983. Once you have right of abode, you can apply for British Citizenship.
Duration of validity for the right of abode
Right of abode is valid for life, however, when the vignette is placed in your passport it will have the same expiry date as on your passport. Right of abode cannot be revoked unless you lose your British Citizenship. Commonwealth citizen’s right of abode can be revoked when the home secretary deems it necessary for the “public good”.
So, right of abode gives you lots of rights and privileges in the UK and once you have it you are not restricted by residency limit inside and outside the UK which means you don’t lose your right of abode if you stay outside the UK for any length of time. All those who apply for British Citizenship and succeed in that automatically get right of abode in the UK.
If you are looking to apply for right of abode, contact Visa and Migration Ltd on +44(0)2034111261