UK Right of Abode


Right of abode means you are 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 UK


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.
If you do not qualify for the above, you need to apply for a ‘certificate of entitlement’.


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 could qualify for Right of Abode through one of the below links:

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


You can only get right to abode through marriage if you are 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.
  • A thorough and detailed information gathering process ensuring you are provided with the latest current information.
  • Guidance as to the best submission process and submission centre regarding your applications.
  • Counselling throughout the preparation process providing you with checklists and templates for the supporting documents required for your application and completing and submitting your online application and arranging the couriering of your documents.
  • Preparation of a complete application dossier for presentation to Immigration Authorities, as required.
  • Assisting in liaising and obtaining where possible supporting documentation and accreditation from the required 3rd parties. Noting that in some instances the time frame of such documentation is beyond the control of SA Travelbug.
  • Arranging for the translation of required supporting documents.
  • If required we will also arrange your Consular appointment.
  • To maintain the confidentiality of the client’s information and documents and to only release these details to the noted Government officials and those required by law or in order to expedite the application, unless the Applicant provides the authority to release information or documents to any other party.

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




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