Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode

Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode

A certificate of entitlement is evidence of your right of abode in the United Kingdom. For more information on certificates of entitlement and residing in the United Kingdom, please contact one of our UK immigration experts.

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What is the Right of Abode?

The right of abode in the UK is a legal status that allows certain individuals to live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions. It is a status that provides the holder with the right to enter and remain in the UK indefinitely, and to work or study in the UK without needing any visa or work permit.

The right of abode is derived from the British Nationality Act 1981, which sets out the criteria for who is eligible to be a British citizen, and who is entitled to the right of abode in the UK.

Who Has the Right of Abode in the United Kingdom?

It’s important to note that the right of abode is different from other types of immigration status, such as indefinite leave to remain or a work visa. It provides the holder with a more secure and permanent status and allows them to live and work in the UK without any restrictions. However, it’s also important to check the specific eligibility requirements and conditions for the right of abode, as they may change over time and differ depending on individual circumstances.

According to the British Nationality Act 1981, the following individuals are entitled to the Right of Abode in the United Kingdom:

  • British citizens,
  • Commonwealth citizens who held Commonwealth citizenship on 31st December 1982 and who have a parent who is, or was, born in the UK and a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies when the Commonwealth citizen was born or adopted,
  • Citizens of the Republic of Ireland who were born before 1949 and whose father was born in the UK, and
  • Certain individuals who were previously citizens of the UK and Colonies or British subjects and who have not renounced that citizenship.

The Right of Abode Based on Marriage

You can only get right to abode through marriage if you are a female Commonwealth citizen.

You must have:

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), and
  • 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, and
  • 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.

What is a Certificate of Entitlement?

A Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode is a document that confirms that the holder has the right to live and work in the United Kingdom without any immigration restrictions. It is a document that provides evidence that the holder is a British citizen, a British Overseas Territories citizen, or a Commonwealth citizen with the right of abode in the UK.

A person who has the right of abode in the UK can enter, live and work in the country without any restrictions, and does not require any visa or work permit. However, it’s important to note that the certificate only confirms the right of abode and does not grant the holder any additional rights or entitlements, such as the right to vote or to access public funds.

To be eligible for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode, an applicant must be a British citizen, a British Overseas Territories citizen, or a Commonwealth citizen with the right of abode in the UK. The application must be made from outside the UK and the applicant must provide evidence of their citizenship or right of abode.

It’s important to note that the application process and requirements for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode frequently change over time. Therefore, it is important to seek advice from an experienced UK immigration lawyer who understands the Right of Abode.

What Documents do I Need to Apply for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode?

To apply for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode, you will need to provide the following documents:

  1. Your current passport: You will need to provide your current passport to show evidence of your identity and citizenship status.
  2. Proof of British citizenship or right of abode: You will need to provide evidence of your British citizenship or right of abode, which may include a British passport, long form birth certificate, marriage certificate and/or evidence of your spouse’s right of abode.
  3. Two recent passport-sized photographs: You will need to provide two recent passport-sized photographs that meet the UK government’s photo requirements.
  4. Application fee: You will need to pay a fee for your Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode application. The fee for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode costs £372 if applying from inside the United Kingdom and £388 if applying from overseas.
  5. Additional documents: In some cases, you may also be required to provide additional documents, such as evidence of your current immigration status or proof of your current employment or studies.

It’s important to note that the specific documents required for your application may vary depending on your individual circumstances and the requirements of the UK government at the time of your application.

The specific supporting documents you will be required to provide will depend on the basis of your application and whether you are a British Citizen, Commonwealth Citizen with a British parent or a Commonwealth citizen female applying upon the basis of your marriage to a person holding the Right of Abode.

What are the Fees and Processing Times?

If you’re applying from inside the UK, a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode will cost £372. The processing time is 8 weeks.

If you’re applying from outside the UK, a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode costs £388. The processing time is usually 3 weeks.

The Duration of a Certificate of Entitlement

Certificates of entitlement are only valid for the duration of the passport or travel document to which they are attached. If your passport expires, you must apply for a fresh certificate of entitlement to be endorsed in your new passport.

Sterling Immigration’s Certificate of Entitlement Services

Sterling Immigration’s lawyers recognise the importance of a certificate of entitlement and that it will enable you to live and work in the United Kingdom without being subject to immigration control. 

Our immigration lawyers can help you at every step of the application procedure. Our services include:

  • Ensuring your eligibility to apply for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode,
  • Checking your supporting documents and advising you if any further evidence is required,
  • Meticulously completing each section of your Certificate of Entitlement application,
  • Writing a detailed Submissions Letter to support your application, and
  • Liaising with the Home Office during the application process until issuance of your Certificate of Entitlement.

Please schedule a consultation and we will confirm your eligibility to apply for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode from Canada or the United States and we will advise you regarding the supporting documentation, processing times and associated fees.

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