There could be times when British Citizens need to know how to prove right of abode for the United Kingdom. This guide explains what your right of abode means and how to apply for a certificate of entitlement.
CITIZEN RIGHT OF ABODE: It applies to all citizens for whom there are no immigration restrictions to live or work in the UK. In such cases:
All British citizens have automatic right of abode for the United Kingdom. In some cases, the same status also applies to Commonwealth citizens.
How to prove you have right of abode in the UK? Use your UK passport if it describes you as a British citizen. The same also applies to any British subject with the legal right of abode. Another option is to apply for a 'certificate of entitlement'.
Note: There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until 2021. You and your family can apply for 'settled status' to continue living in the UK after June 2021. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.
Apart from having British citizenship, there are other circumstances that provide the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. Parentage or marriage can also meet the immigration rules for right of abode.
All the following must apply to meet the requirements:
You must be a female Commonwealth citizen to get the right to abode through marriage. In this case you must also have:
There are exclusions to this rule. You may not qualify if your spouse has another living wife or a widow who:
Even so, you may still qualify if:
Note: Read further information on the Windrush scheme for Commonwealth citizens. There is a different way to prove your right to live in the United Kingdom for those who are part of the 'Windrush generation'.
Having a certificate of entitlement proves the right of abode in the United Kingdom. In fact, it's placed inside the pages of a passport. Thus, you would need to apply for a new certificate any time the passport expires.
There are several different ways to apply for a certificate of entitlement. It would depend most on whether you are applying from inside or outside the United Kingdom.
Note: Having a British passport means you cannot get a certificate of entitlement. The same exclusion applies if you have a valid certificate of entitlement in another foreign passport.
Use the form ROA 'Application for certificate showing right of abode' to apply in the UK. Read the guidance notes and then you should send the completed form to UK Visas and Immigration. There will be several supporting documents to include with your application.
Department 1 UKVI
New Hall Place
Liverpool L3 9PP
Note: The current cost of a certificate of entitlement is £372 when issued inside the United Kingdom. The processing time takes up to 6 months to get a decision once UKVI receive the form and support documents. You can also apply online.
Note: You cannot send photocopies so you need to send the original documents. You must give a valid reason if you are unable to send your birth certificate or marriage certificate.
In most cases they will return your documents by 2nd class postal methods. Otherwise, you need to include a prepaid self-addressed Royal Mail special delivery. It must be the correct size if you use a recorded delivery envelope.
Applicants can contact the nationality contact centre for urgent cases. An example could be if you need your documents returning without a delay. But, it is not an enquiry office so do not use it to check on the application progress.
Nationality Contact Centre
You must use the 'Apply for a UK visa' service when applying from outside the United Kingdom. It is an online process.
Note: The current cost of a certificate of entitlement is £388 when issued outside the United Kingdom.
Citizens who live in North Korea cannot apply online. Applying from North Korea means you must:
Note: As a general rule, United Kingdom Visas and Immigration do not refund the application fees.
Thus, the cost will not get refunded if your application gets refused. This applies even if you do not qualify for right of abode or you fail to send in enough evidence to support the claim.
UKVI will inform you how to appeal if your application gets rejected. But, rejected applications received on or after the 6th of April 2015 lose this right of appeal.
Check GOV.UK if you think UKVI failed to make the decision in line with the law or their policy. In some cases you can get an application reconsidered.
Citizen Right of Abode in the United Kingdom