The laws governing the right of abode in the United Kingdom (UK) can be found in the Immigration Act 1971, the British Nationality Act 1981, and the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. If you have a right of abode in the UK, you will be allowed to live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions. In order to certify your right of abode, you may apply for a “Certificate of Entitlement“. This article gives an overview of what is the right of abode and how you may qualify for a Certificate of Entitlement that certifies that right.Legal advice on Certificate of Entitlement from LEXVISA London Immigration Solicitors
Certificate of Entitlement: What is the Right of Abode?
If you have the right of abode in the UK, you will be completely free from immigration restrictions. You will be allowed to live and work in the UK similar to a British citizen, without any need to obtain immigration permission from the Home Office authority.
In order to prove your right of abode in the UK, you must either hold a British passport or have obtained a certificate of entitlement certifying your right of abode.
Certificate of Entitlement: Who has the Right of Abode?
As a starting point, all British citizens automatically have the right of abode in the UK. There are numerous ways in obtaining British citizenship. The two main routes are either through naturalisation or registration. There are certain strict requirements that you will have to meet in order to be granted citizenship.
The requirements may depend on your date and place of birth, your parents or grandparents’ status, your current immigration status in relation to the UK, and your immigration history in relation to the UK. If you are unsure as to which criteria are applicable to you, you should always contact us and seek legal advice on a full analysis on your situation.
The right of abode in the UK do not exist only amongst British citizens; certain Commonwealth citizens may also have the right of abode in the UK.
There are currently 52 Member States in the Commonwealth of Nations; United Kingdom is one of them. Other Member States include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, St Kitts and Nevis, and many others.
If you are a Commonwealth citizen and not a British citizen, you may be able to claim the right of abode through your parents or through marriage.
Certificate of Entitlement: Parent(s) Route for Commonwealth Citizens
Firstly, you should note that if you were not a Commonwealth citizen on 31 December 1982 or you ceased to be a Commonwealth citizen at any point after that date, you will not be able to claim the right of abode. You must have held your Commonwealth citizenship continuously since 31 December 1982 to be eligible.
If on 31 December 1982, you were continuously a Commonwealth citizen with a parent who was a citizen of the UK and Colonies, you may be eligible. You should note that your parent(s) would have to have had their citizen status at the time of your birth or legal adoption. Furthermore, they must have had acquired their status by being born in the UK.
If you do not satisfy this but you have/had a parent who is/was a British national, you may be eligible to register as a British citizen. Your eligibility will hugely depend on your personal circumstances and we advise that you seek legal advice at your earliest convenience if you have any doubts. This will avoid any unnecessary delays in making your application, largely avoid the possibility of having your application refused, and increase immensely your chances of success in your application.
Certificate of Entitlement: Marriage Route for Commonwealth Citizens
In order to be eligible under this route, you will also be required to have been a Commonwealth citizen continuously since 31 December 1982.
If you were a Commonwealth citizen and you married a man with the right of abode before 1 January 1983, you may have acquired the right of abode through marriage.
However, you must be weary that you will not be successful in your application if another living wife or widow of the same man has been granted a certificate of entitlement or entry clearance on account of marriage. You will also not be successful if another living wife or widow of the same man is in the UK otherwise than as a visitor, an illegal entrant or on temporary admission at any time since her marriage. There exist exemption to this restriction and again, it will hugely depend on your personal circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a full analysis.
Successful Certificate of Entitlement Applications
Applications for a Certificate of Entitlement can be complicated at times as the Home Office have imposed highly specific requirements for applicants to meet in providing evidence. Our expert immigration solicitors will provide you with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the immigration application process. We ensure that we assist you to achieve a positive result and minimises any unnecessary delays.
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please always call us for a telephone case assessment even if you wish to consider other advisers. Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now 02071830570 on for a telephone case assessment.