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.