British Nationality and Citizenship


British Nationality and Citizenship

Contact us to check your Eligibility

Find out if you can apply to settle in the UK

Check if you’re eligible for settlement (also called ‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK.

You can also find out how to apply.

Settling means you can stay in the UK without any time restrictions.

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

Prove you have right of abode in the UK

Overview

Having right of abode means you’re 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’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’.

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

Commonwealth citizens

If you’re 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.

Parents

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

Marriage

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 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

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.

How you apply for a certificate of entitlement depends on whether you’re inside or outside the UK.

You cannot get a certificate if you already have a British passport or a valid certificate of entitlement in another foreign passport.

Apply in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man

A certificate of entitlement costs £372 in the UK.

Read the guidance to check you can apply.

Fill in the form online. You’ll usually be able to keep your documents while your application is being processed.

You can also apply in other ways.

Get help to apply online

You can get help with completing the online form if you:

  • do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
  • do not have internet access

You can only use this service if you’re applying in the UK.

You cannot get immigration advice through this service.

Apply from outside the UK or from a British overseas territory

If you are not in the UK, or you live in a British overseas territory, you must apply online.

A certificate of entitlement costs £388 outside the UK.

North Korea

You cannot apply online if you’re living in North Korea.

To apply from North Korea you must:

If your application is refused

Your application fee will not be refunded if your application is refused because you do not qualify for right of abode or you do not send in enough evidence to support your claim.

Appeals

You’ll be told how you can appeal if your application is rejected.

You will not have a right of appeal if your rejected application was received on or after 6 April 2015.

If you made your application in the UK, you can apply to have your application reconsidered if you think UKVI did not make the decision in line with the law or their policy.

Check your Eligibility