The right of abode (ROA) is a UK immigration status that give you unrestricted right to enter and live in the UK. Contact us for case assessment, eligibility requirements & supporting documents.

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

  • you won't need a visa to come to the UK
  • there's no limit on the length of time you can spend in the country
  • 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'.

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:

  • 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 didn't 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're 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 won't 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

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.

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.

Need legal advice?

UK immigration law is extremely complex and constantly changes. The UKVI has strict criteria relating to different types of visa. Therefore, it is essential you get the right legal advice from an expert UK immigration lawyer to make sure your application is successful, first time. We will guide you through every step of the process, putting you in the best place possible to get a good result.

Why choose Blackstone Law Associates?

Competitive Fixed Pricing

We offer a fixed price service, this means the price you are quoted does not change; We work on fixed fees basis unlike other firms who charge you for each and every call and letter.

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You will have direct access to our qualified lawyers, with in-depth knowledge of UK Immigration law. Upon instructing us you will be allocated an experienced lawyer who will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case.

Expert Advice

Immigration laws in the UK change frequently. Our team of lawyers are trained and are kept up to date on all the latest developments. We have a combined wealth of knowledge and experience. Our expert immigration lawyers can provide advice and the best possible option available for you.

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We are proud to claim that through our wealth of knowledge and experience we are able achieve the results that are needed. Our expert Lawyers put their full efforts in your case as we strongly believe in getting for you what you want.

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