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Right of Abode Explained by the UK's #1 Immigration Law Firm

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

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’.

Further Information

UK Visas & Immigration requires the following requirements in order to grant you a SPOUSE VISA:

  • If your partner is a British national, holds indefinite or limited leave to remain under the Appendix EU or be entitled to limited leave under the Appendix ECA;
  • both of you are over 18 years of age;
  • the two of you have met in person and are legally married;
  • You intend to live together permanently; Your relationship is genuine;
  • Any previous relationships have ended permanently;
  • No public funds are required to support you in the UK;
  • You and anyone with you in the UK has adequate accommodation;
  • The level of English that you understand and speak is sufficient.
  • Depending on your circumstances, you may need to satisfy different requirements so it is strongly advisable to confirm your eligibility  in advance of making an application.

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’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:
    • 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:

    – 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)
  • – 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
  • You can apply for a certificate of entitlement to prove you have right of abode in the UK. It goes in your passport.
    You’ll get a decision within 6 months from when you’ve sent your completed application and supporting documents.
  • You’ll need to send:


    • – Your valid passport or travel document – if it was not issued in the UK it must have immigration stamps to show you’re living here, or you must have a previous right of abode certificate.
    • – 2 passport-size photos of you taken in the last 6 months documents proving you have right of abode.

    Our friendly team would be pleased to talk you through your options and confirm what course of action would be best for you going forward and the relevant implications.

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UK Visas & Immigration requires the following requirements in order to grant you a Child Visa:

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to satisfy different requirements, so it is strongly advisable to confirm your eligibility in advance of making an application.

If you are the child of a parent or family member who is settled in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a leave to remain indefinitely in the following circumstances:

  • It is possible for the child to come to the UK to live with both parents and either:
  • Both parents have British citizenship or they have indefinite leave to remain in the country, or they are both being admitted for settlement at the same time; or
  • There is one parent who is a British citizen, or has indefinite leave to remain, and the other parent is applying to come to the UK.

If you are bringing your child to live with only one of your parents in the UK and either:

  • It is either one of the parents is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, and the other parent is dead; or
  • There is one parent who is either a British citizen or who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and that parent is solely responsible for raising the child;
  • There is a parent who is a British citizen, or who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and there are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make it unpalatable for the child to be expelled from the UK.
  • Children who are going to live with a relative who is not their parent and who is a citizen of Great Britain or has indefinite leave to remain, and where there are serious and compelling family or other reasons why the child should not be excluded from the UK.

In addition, the child must demonstrate that they meet these requirements:

  • Their parents or other relatives are related to them as claimed; and
  • The applicant is under the age of 18 at the time of application; and
  • The couple is not married, in a civil partnership, or living independently; and
  • The child is provided with adequate housing and maintenance, without relying on public funds.

Immigration rules are complex and subject to regular changes and revisions. This itself presents problems as it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of and have complied with any changes to the routes, processes and evidence requirements.

Failure to meet strict rules is likely to result in the application being refused which, in turn, is likely have an emotional and financial strain on you and your family.

It is our job to ensure we are fully aware of the latest immigration rules, policies and procedures. We don’t leave matters to chance. Once you become a client of ours, we explain our strategy and tell you exactly how we propose to get you the right result. We will pinpoint the positives and negatives of your circumstances and explain where issues may arise and what would need to be done to fix them. We provide step by step guidance and advice throughout the entire process professionally. Our vast experience allows us to foresee problems before they arise and pro-actively adopt a strategic action plan.

Our legal fees are always agreed and fixed with you right at the beginning of your case, so you have complete peace of mind and control over the costs to ensure there are no restrictions or unpleasant surprises.

There are many online agencies, advisors and marketing companies who claim to be immigration experts but, provide very little expertise.

Let us be very clear here, if you are paying for someone just to fill in the forms for you, you should think about how you can put that money to better use and avoid gambling with your future by using inexperienced and ineffective companies.

We are a fully regulated nationwide, multi award winning law firm that specialises in immigration. Having more than 60 years of combined expertise and having handled more than 8,000 cases we have unrivalled experience and expertise to ensure you get the right result first time around – Don’t take our word for it though, check out our reviews to see why our clients trust us with their futures. We are rated 5* across the board and 98% of our clients have confirmed that they would recommend us to others.

We have illustrated our typical scope of service below so you can understand what we do for you as paid of our service:

Our immigration specialists carry out a free detailed assessment with you to understand your circumstances and needs.

  • The collated information is then reviewed by a senior immigration solicitor who will have no less than 8 years’ immigration experience.
  • Based on the information collected, the senior solicitor will then confirm what your options are and will also confirm if we are able to help you.
  • We will offer you an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation for us to handle your entire case until initial conclusion without obligation.
  • If we have officially taken your instructions, we will create a client file for you and collect detailed initial information.
  • We will then ensure you receive a personalised one-to-one legal consultation with a senior immigration solicitor who will take your full instructions by exploring your circumstances in detail and advise you on the best way to meet your objectives. The solicitor will explain the relevant legislations and provide you with advice on the steps that we would need to take to get a successful result.
  • The senior solicitor who carried out your legal consultation will then send you detailed written legal advice explaining everything that needs to be done and which documents will be required as part of the process. We will tell you about any problem areas and formulate a strategy to overcome/mitigate these.
  • We will carefully review any documents that you have provided in support of the application. These documents are then validated and formatted to ensure that they meet the UKVI specified evidence requirements. Where they do not, we will explain what needs to be done to address the issues.
  • Where required, we will prepare any necessary written legal arguments or representations that are required to support your application and gain an approval. Often, we may be required to make discretionary submissions.
  • We will complete a draft application and share this with you to ensure that all parties are happy with the representations that will be submitted to the Home Office.
  • We advise you on what application processing routes are available. In some cases, there are fast track or premium processing routes available. We may be required to book a Home Office appointment on your behalf.  Will also be able to confirm typical processing times for any processing centre in the world. We explain all options, routes and fees comprehensively allowing you to make the best choice.
  • We lodge the application on your behalf using our secure authenticated processes. Whilst your application is pending, we continue to ensure you receive maximum legal protection and ensure that your rights and allowances are upheld throughout the processing stage. We ensure that you are aware of and remain compliant with the immigration rules and regulations during this period. We will also keep you updated on the progress of your matter.
  • If any follow up work is required in response to any queries raised by the UKVI, we will also deal with these as part of the comprehensive service.
  • We secure a decision on your matter and further advise you on the relevant implications of that decision. If required, we will also confirm if any secondary applications are required and brief you on the necessary process and procedure for those also.
Here are just some of the reasons to choose us:

  • We are the UK’s #1 Immigration Specialist Law Firm
  • We are a fully SRA regulated law firm so you are working directly with our in house legal team
  • No agencies, middlemen or outsourcing
  • We have achieved 99% success rate across all application types
  • We have a 24 hour helpline that operates 7 days a week – 365 days a year
  • We have multiple offices across the UK but 90% of our clients are not required to visit in person
  • We have more than 60 years combined immigration expertise
  • Our team have handled more than 8,000 cases
  • We offer a free initial assessment which will explain your options and check your eligibility for your chosen route
  • We operate a 100% Agreed Fixed Fee model with all fees fixed and agreed before work is started
  • 98% of our clients would recommend us to family & friends
  • Our average rating is 4.6/5 across major review platforms (based on over 2000 reviews).

If you have an immigration related problem or question, you can have a free assessment with a member of our assessments team.

The assessor will establish why you are calling and what you are looking for assistance with. The assessor will ask you a series of questions to determine your circumstances in relation to your objectives.

The assessment is 100% private and confidential. As we are a private law firm, we work with our clients to overturn Government decisions daily. We do not share any information with any third party.

Although the assessor will be a trained immigration specialist, they are not solicitors and therefore will not give you detailed legal advice or guidance.

If you want to establish what your options are and the best way forward for you, your assessor will collate the necessary information and then speak with one of the resident senior solicitors at the firm to determine what your options are, if and how we could assist and confirm whether we would be prepared to take your case. If we can assist, you will be provided with an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation which is a single legal fee to cover the firms cost of representation agreed from the outset and binding for all parties.

The free assessment is no obligation and you are merely given clarity on your position and options to move forward.

If you have a complex matter or require legal advice regarding a specific issue, you will most likely require a legal consultation.

This is a separate service and is chargeable at the prevailing rates.

Please note, UK Immigration Solicitors are a private law firm and are not part of the Government. We do not accept legal aid instructions. Although we are happy to assist genuine callers, we are not a directory service and sadly are unable to provide you with Government telephone numbers.

To get started you can either call us on 0203 384 4389 or complete the assessment form and one of the team will call you

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