Right of Abode & Certificates of Entitlement

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

  • A visa to enter the UK is not required
  • There is no limit on how long you can stay in the in the UK

Who has the right of abode in the UK?

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

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

Otherwise, you can apply for a Certificate of Entitlement.

What is a Certificate of Entitlement?

You can apply for a Certificate of Entitlement from the Home Office that confirms you have the right of abode in the UK. The certificate will be placed inside your current foreign passport and will expire when your passport does, meaning it must be renewed every time you get a new passport.

If you are not a British Citizen, you may have right of abode if all the following apply:

  • one of your parents was born in the UK and was 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


  • You are a female Commonwealth Citizen and were married to a man with the right of abode before 1 January 1983
  • You have not stopped being a Commonwealth Citizen (even temporarily) at any point after 31 December 1982
  • You usually will not have the 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

How much does a Certificate of Entitlement cost?

The current cost for a Certificate of Entitlement is £550.00.

If you require assistance in applying for a Certificate of Entitlement or legal advice, please contact our immigration lawyers now for a quote.

For more information on our Right of Abode & Certificates of Entitlement Services, please get in contact where we would love to discuss how we could help you in your application.

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With years of experience working in UK immigration and British nationality law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps to obtain your visa. Get in touch today.