Right of abode
This page explains who has the right to live permanently in the UK without any immigration restrictions. This is officially known as 'right of abode in the UK'. It means you do not need an immigration officer's permission to enter the country, and can live and work here without restriction.
Who has the right of abode?
All British citizens have the right of abode in the UK. To find out whether you are a British citizen, see the Who already has British citizenship? page.
Some Commonwealth citizens also have the right of abode, but some others cannot claim the right of abode. For more information, see the Commonwealth citizens and the right of abode page.
How to claim the right of abode
You can use the following documents as evidence that you have the right of abode:
- a UK passport describing you as a British citizen or a British subject with the right of abode; or
- a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode in the UK, which has been issued by the UK government or on its behalf.
You can find out how to obtain a UK passport on the Identity and Passport Service website.
If you do not have a passport confirming your right of abode, you must apply for a certificate of entitlement in order to claim the right of abode.
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