Home / Right of Abode
Citizenship may be acquired in a variety of ways; either by birth, descent, registration or naturalisation.
Naturalisation is a discretionary award of citizenship and the Secretary of State may grant a Certificate of Naturalisation to a person of full age and capacity if he satisfies certain conditions.
Applicant not married to a British citizen
One category of person who can apply for naturalisation is someone who has been resident in the UK for at least five years. For this type of application, the inpidual will need to show that they:
were in the UK on the date five years prior to the date of the application;
Applications are submitted to the Nationality pision of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and are currently taking approximately 12-18 months to process.
Applicant married to a British citizen
An inpidual wishing to obtain British citizenship by virtue of marriage would need to show that they:
· were in the UK on the date three years prior to the date of the application;
· have not been absent for more than 270 days in that period;
· have not been absent for more than 90 days during the last 12 months of that period;
· have held indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK for the last 12 months;
· have not been in breach of immigration laws in the last 5 years; and
· intend to make either their home or their principal home in the UK.
Registration – children
Children born in the UK can apply to register as British citizens if their parents subsequently hold indefinite leave to remain.
Children who have spent the first ten years of their lives in the UK can also register as British citizens where they have not spent more than 90 days outside the UK in any of those ten years.
Children born overseas to a parent who is a British citizen by descent can apply to register as a British citizen within a year of their birth (or six years where there are special circumstances).
Registration – adults
There is limited provision for certain British Overseas Citizens, British Protected Persons, British subjects and British Nationals (Overseas) to register as British citizens. We recommend expert advice is sought in this regard.
We recommend that expert advice is sought.
UK Right of Abode
The Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode in the UK entitles a person to live and work in the United Kingdom without restriction. Holders of this type of visa for Britain may enter and leave the country free of Immigration control and use British passport holder gates at United Kingdom ports and airports. Dual citizens are entitled to a stamp in their foreign passports, which will enable holders to enter the country without hindrance as though they were British Citizens.
It is worth noting that changes to legislation have resulted in this category of immigration service becoming partly redundant, as many people applying under this class are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR), or permanent residency through British naturalization.
After 21 December 2006, people who already hold a British passport, or identity card which describes them as a UK citizen or as a British subject with this entitlement will not qualify for certificates of entitlement.
Applying for the right of abode effectively results in a successful applicant being entirely free from British immigration control. This means that a holder does not need to gain permission from an Immigration Officer in order to enter the country and may commence living and working in the UK without restriction. This route to the United Kingdom imposes no work restrictions like short-term UK visit visas, often referred to as travel visas or tourist visas and unlike skills based immigration services such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP, this route does not require a points based assessment to qualify. Unlike UK business visas, candidates do not need to create jobs or invest in the United Kingdom and successful applicants do not need a UK work permit visa.
We can help you to secure the most beneficial immigration service for you from the range of British visas for immigration and working permits available. Whether you need a short-term visitor visa or you wish to move towards UK citizenship, as a specialist UK immigration consultancy, we can offer immigration lawyer advice and services throughout the application process.
There is no time restriction placed on people immigrating to the UK via this route. The Certificate will remain valid for the life of the passport.
Who has the Right of Abode in the UK?
All British citizens automatically have this right. In the case of dual nationals, i.e. people who are citizens of more than one country, it is possible to get a Certificate placed in their passport.
This right may also apply to some people who are not dual citizens but are from a Commonwealth country. Commonwealth citizens qualify under the following circumstances.
(N.B. Pakistan and South Africa were not included in the Commonwealth before January 1st 1983 and as a result their citizens do not qualify)
To demonstrate that you qualify you must be able to produce either:
A United Kingdom passport which describes you as a British citizen or as a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies.
A foreign or Commonwealth passport which contains a certificate of entitlement.
As outlined above, changes to legislation have made this immigration category redundant in many cases, however it remains a valuable option for people whose home country does not support dual citizenship and which would withdraw nationality upon a successful application for British citizenship.
Spouse immigration and dependant immigration is permitted under UK visas of this class. Dependants of persons who qualify may enter the country in order to settle, if they apply for UK entry clearance from their home country. Spouses and dependants under this category must enter the country with qualifying person. At the end of their grant of leave they must apply for an extension in order continue their stay.
How we can help?
We have extensive knowledge and experience in citizenship, right of abode and all types of immigration and nationality appeal matters. Please contact us for specialised advice and representation.