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Having right of abode means you’re allowed to live or work in the UK without any immigration restrictions, which means:
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.
2. Commonwealth citizens
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.
You have right of abode if all the following apply:
You can only get right to abode through marriage if you’re a female Commonwealth citizen.
You must have:
You usually won’t have right of abode if the person you were married to has another living wife or widow who:
However, you may still have right of abode if:
3. 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 can’t 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
A certificate of entitlement costs £321 in the UK.
You’ll get a decision within 6 months from when you’ve sent your completed application and supporting documents.
You’ll need to send:
You must send original documents, not photocopies. If you don’t 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 email@example.com
Apply from outside the UK
You must apply online using the ‘Apply for a UK visa’ service.
You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea.
To apply from North Korea you must:
If your application is refused
Your application fee won’t be refunded if your application is refused because you don’t qualify for right of abode or you don’t send in enough evidence to support your claim.
You’ll be told how you can appeal if your application is rejected.
You won’t have a right of appeal if your rejected application was received on or after 6 April 2015.
You can apply to have your application reconsidered if you think UKVI didn’t make the decision in line with the law or their policy.
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