Prove you have right of abode in the UK

Having 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 is 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

If you are part of the ‘Windrush generation’ (also known as ‘Windrush cases’), there’s a different way to prove your right to live in the UK. 

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 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

Apply for a certificate of entitlement 

How We Can Help

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to human rights applicants as part of a professional and friendly service. We take your instructions, understand your requirements, collect all the necessary evidence, complete your application and submit it to the Home Office (UKVI) for consideration. You can contact us on 01202925737 or call us on mobile 07548856403 or email us at or by completing our contact form.