United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Permanent Residency - Right of Abode

The Right of Abode is unique to the United Kingdom and is in recognition of Britain's historical role at the heart of the Commonwealth and its colonial past. The Right of Abode takes the form of a stamp in your existing (non-British) passport and allows you to live and work in the UK. It counts towards qualifying for British nationality through the process of naturalisation. It can never be revoked and can never expire (even if your passport does).

As a visa category, it arises where:

 - you were born in the UK before 1983 (except if you were born to foreign diplomats); OR

 - one of your parents was born in the UK and you were born before 1983 in a Commonwealth country that remianed a Commonewealth country continously up to 1 January 1983 (so this excludes South Africa and Pakistan).

The Right of Abode is often a useful option if you do not want to hold British nationality or if there are legal (Dual nationality) restrictions to holding a second nationality.

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Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

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Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.