Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.
immigration solicitors near me

What is Right of Abode in the UK?

Having the right of abode in the UK means that you live here free from immigration control. As a person with the right of abode, you do not need a visa or permission to enter and remain in the UK, and there is no limit on the amount of time you can spend here1.

A person with the right of abode UK must be able to prove their status when required (e.g., when arriving at the UK border) by providing either:

  • a valid UK passport: confirming you are a British citizen or a British subject with the right of abode, or
  • a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode in the UK

As such, the burden of proof of the right of abode rests with the person making this claim, as stated in section 3(8) of the Immigration Act 1971. For this reason, it is recommended that any person who has the right of abode should always carry proof with them at all times.

Is the right of abode the same as ILR?

No, a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme does not have the right of abode. This is because those with ILR or Settled Status are still technically subject to immigration control and are granted permission by the Home Office to live, work and settle in the UK.

Who has the right of abode in the UK?

The right of abode in the UK is only conferred to British citizens and a limited number of citizens of Commonwealth countries. You will have the right of abode in the UK as a Commonwealth citizen if, by 31st December 1982, you were:

  • a Commonwealth citizen with a parent who, at the time of your birth or legal adoption, was a citizen of the UK and Colonies and obtained their citizenship by being born in the UK (the rules also state that if you were born before 1st January 1983 to a mother who was born in the UK, you might be able to apply for registration as a British citizen.
  • a Commonwealth citizen, and before 1st January 1983, you were married to a man with the right of abode.

The rules of right of abode changed on 1st January 1983 as this is when the British Nationality Act 1981 came into force.

As the rules make clear, if you were not a Commonwealth citizen as of 31st December 1982, or you ceased to be a Commonwealth citizen after that date, you will not normally have the right of abode. For example, nationals of South Africa, Pakistan, and the Maldives do not have the right of abode as these countries departed the Commonwealth on a temporary basis.

Certificate of entitlement to the right of abode

Those who are eligible can apply to the Home Office for a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode in the UK. This is placed into your passport and proves that you hold the right of abode. If you apply for a new passport, you will need to apply for a new Certificate of entitlement to the right of abode to be placed into it. If you hold a UK passport that describes you as a British citizen or a British subject with the right of abode in the UK, you do not require a certificate of entitlement.

How to apply for a right of abode certificate

It is possible to apply for a Certificate of entitlement to the right of abode either outside or inside the UK. The steps you will need to complete are as follows:

  1. Complete the certificate of entitlement to the right of abode application (ROA) form – the form you complete depends on if you are in the UK2 or outside the UK3.
  2. Pay the application fee (see below)
  3. Submit any documents requested by the Home Office – this may include:
    1. your passport
    2. photographs of you
    3. proof of the right of abode in the UK – e.g., naturalisation certificate, marriage certificate, or birth certificate. The Immigration (Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode in the United Kingdom) Regulations 2006 outlines all of the documents which may be requested4.

Certificate of the right of abode cost

The certificate of right of abode application costs are as follows:

  • Application made inside the UK: £372
  • Application made outside the UK: £388

Can I get a British passport if I have the right of abode?

Having the right of abode does not itself provide the right to a British passport. To get a British passport, you must be one of the following:

  • British citizen
  • British Overseas Territories citizen
  • British overseas citizen
  • British subject
  • British national (overseas)
  • British protected person

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in all areas of UK immigration law, including British naturalisation application and British citizenship application. For assistance with any matter relating to UK immigration, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

References:

1 UK Legislation: Immigration Act 1971

2 GOV.UK: Apply for a certificate showing right of abode: Form ROA

3 GOV.UK: Select a country to provide your biometrics

4 GOV.UK: The Immigration (Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode in the United Kingdom) Regulations 2006

Get In Touch

Some of our Happy Client
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me
  • immigration solicitors near me

Reiss Edwards Awards

O.L

Reiss Edwards is absolutely amazing. As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that they know their stuff, gentle, responsive, care about you and not just about the money, very professional.

I mean I can go on and on! The entire team at Reiss Edwards is amazing!

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More
Back to Top