british citizenship

Prove you have right of abode in the UK

Overview

Having right of abode means you’re allowed to live or work in the UK without any immigration restrictions, which means:

  • you will not need a visa to come to the UK
  • there’s no limit on the length of time you can spend in the country

All British citizens automatically have right of abode in the UK.

Some Commonwealth citizens may also have right of abode.

You can prove you have right of abode if you have a UK passport describing you as a British citizen or British subject with right of abode.

Otherwise you need to apply for a ‘certificate of entitlement’.

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

Commonwealth citizens

If you’re part of the ‘Windrush generation’ (also known as ‘Windrush cases’), there’s a different way to prove your right to live in the UK.

You may have right of abode in the UK either because of your parents or because you are or were married to someone with right of abode.

Parents

You have right of abode if all the following apply:

  • one of your parents was born in the UK and a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies when you were born or adopted
  • you were a Commonwealth citizen on 31 December 1982
  • you did not stop being a Commonwealth citizen (even temporarily) at any point after 31 December 1982

Marriage

You can only get right to abode through marriage if you’re a female Commonwealth citizen.

You must have:

  • been married to someone with right of abode before 1 January 1983
  • not stopped being a Commonwealth citizen (even temporarily) at any point after 31 December 1982

You usually will not have right of abode if the person you were married to has another living wife or widow who:

  • is in the UK, or has been in the UK at any time since her marriage (unless they entered the country illegally, came as a visitor or only have temporary permission to stay)
  • has a certificate of entitlement to right of abode or permission to enter the UK because of her marriage

However, you may still have right of abode if:

  • you entered the UK while married and before 1 August 1988, even if your husband has other wives in the UK
  • you’ve been in the UK since your marriage and at that time were your husband’s only wife to have legally entered the UK or been given permission to do so

Apply for a certificate of entitlement

You can apply for a certificate of entitlement to prove you have right of abode in the UK. It goes in your passport.

You need to apply for a new certificate when your passport expires.

How you apply for a certificate of entitlement depends on whether you’re inside or outside the UK.

You cannot get a certificate if you already have a British passport or a valid certificate of entitlement in another foreign passport.

Apply in the UK

Use form ROA and send it to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Read the guidance before you apply.

You must also include supporting documents with your application.

Department 1
UKVI
The Capital
New Hall Place
Liverpool
L3 9PP
A certificate of entitlement costs £372 in the UK.

You’ll get a decision within 6 months from when you’ve sent your completed application and supporting documents.

Supporting documents

You’ll need to send:

  • your valid passport or travel document - if it was not issued in the UK it must have immigration stamps to show you’re living here, or you must have a previous right of abode certificate
  • 2 passport-size photos of you taken in the last 6 months
  • documents proving you have right of abode - read the guide to find out which ones you need

You must send original documents, not photocopies. If you do not send the birth certificate or marriage certificate issued when you were born or got married, you need to explain why.

Returning your documents

Include a pre-paid self-addressed Royal Mail special delivery or recorded delivery envelope of the right size, otherwise your documents will be returned by 2nd class post.

Contact the nationality contact centre if you need your documents back urgently. Do not contact it to check the progress of your application.

Nationality contact centre nationalityenquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Apply from outside the UK

You must apply online using the ‘Apply for a UK visa’ service.

A certificate of entitlement costs £388 outside the UK.

North Korea

You cannot apply online if you’re living in North Korea.

To apply from North Korea you must:

If your application is refused

Your application fee will not be refunded if your application is refused because you do not qualify for right of abode or you do not send in enough evidence to support your claim.

Appeals

You’ll be told how you can appeal if your application is rejected.

You will not have a right of appeal if your rejected application was received on or after 6 April 2015.

If you made your application in the UK, you can apply to have your application reconsidered if you think UKVI did not make the decision in line with the law or their policy.

Prepare for the British Citizenship - Life in the UK Test

Remember, if you wanna do british citizenship firt must pass Life in the UK exam.

You can practise test on our web site totally for free or download intuitive scripts to learn with ready answers and explanations - only for £11.99

1.This is the only official government service for booking the Life in the UK Test. You need to take the test as part of your application for British citizenship or settlement in the UK. You must book your Life in the UK Test online at least 3 days in advance. It costs £50.

There are around 60 test centres in the UK - choose one of the 5 closest to where you live.

If the centre isn’t close to where you live, you won’t be allowed to sit the test and you won’t get a refund. You must bring proof of your address to the test.

2. What happens at the test, what you have bring and what happend if you fail test?

You’ll be tested on information in the official Life in the UK Test - you should study this Life in the United Kingdom - download questions and explanation pdf format to prepare for the official test.

You’ll have 45 minutes to answer 24 questions about British traditions and customs.

3. If you fail the test You must wait 7 days before taking the test again, but you can take the test as many times as you need to. You need to book and pay again each time.

Different ways to apply for British citizenship

There are different ways to apply for British citizenship based on your circumstances.

Apply for citizenship if you're from the EEA

You should have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of your application.

Marriages and civil partnerships in the UK

Civil partnerships and marriages in the UK

UK residence for EU citizens

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.

Countries in the EU and EEA

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 28 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.

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Prepare for the British Citizenship - Life in the UK Test

Remember, if you wanna do british citizenship firt must pass Life in the UK exam.

Life in the UK Test

Use this official service for booking a Life in the UK Test as part of your application for citizenship or settlement

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Having right of abode means you're allowed to live or work in the UK without any immigration restrictions - apply for a certificate of entitlement to prove you have it

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british citizenship

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Prepare for the British Citizenship - Life in the UK Test

Remember, if you wanna do british citizenship firt must pass Life in the UK exam.