What is Right of Abode?

A person with the right of abode can live, work and study in the United Kingdom without any immigration restrictions, like a UK born British citizen.

Today, right of abode is only held by:

  • a British citizen, or
  • a Commonwealth citizen who on 31 Dec 1982 had right of abode and has since remained a Commonwealth citizen

This page is focused on Commonwealth citizens in the second category, a residual status reluctantly kept for historic reasons, with complex rules which few immigration practitioners understand. A person born before 1983:

  • whose father or mother was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, or before 31 March 1922 any part of Ireland, or,
  • who was the wife of a man in the category above or a UK citizen with right of abode,

and who has remained since 1 January 1983 a Commonwealth citizen, would today have right of abode.

It does not matter if the husband later died or the marriage ended. Commonwealth countries include Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and subject to past limitations, Pakistan and South Africa.

Right of abode can be evidenced in a non-British passport with a “Certificate of Entitlement” sticker. This used to be called a “Certificate of Patriality”.

In some cases a person with right of abode is eligable to become a British citizen by registration under laws enacted after 2001.

Passportia can find out if you have right of abode (or qualify for British citizenship), prepare and submit your application and get you a Certificate of Entitlement (or British citizenship and a British Passport) with the best possible chances and least hassle.

How we Work with a Client

How Passportia Works

  • You provide us with information on your history or your family history, ideally using the Evaluation Form on our website
  • We make a free informal evaluation of your citizenship prospects within 5 days. If we are confident that we can get you citizenship, then we provide a fixed price quote
  • If you wish to proceed, then we will work through the following steps:
    1. We email you an agreement for signature. This lists all the documents that should be needed.
    2. You send us these documents and deposit the fee in our Client Escrow Account.
    3. We prepare the application forms, evidence dossier and a legal opinion to significantly increase your chances of success.
    4. We submit the application to the government and handle all inevitable queries.
    5. Following the government decision we send you your new citizenship certificate or passport and the documents you had supplied.

Our agreement includes a “no win no fee” option for an extra 33% of the quoted fee. If we proceed on a “no win no fee” basis and the application fails, then we refund the amount you deposited in our Client Escrow Account, less £100.

Our success rate is over 90% for citizenship claims. This includes notoriously difficult discretionary applications for adopted children. Please view our many testimonials from satisfied clients.


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For a free initial evaluation phone +1 (305) 770 6530 or Request Free Evaluation


Passportia is a specialist citizenship advice firm independent of the UK government and regulated by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner. Legal advice on how to demonstrate and substantiate a claim cannot be obtained from the government.

You may have a right to a British Passport

Was an application you made in the past refused?

It is sometimes possible to appeal against a refusal. An administrative review of a UK application can be lodged at any time, even for an application made years ago. An application for review has to be very well presented and argued. Also, changes to the law may mean that an application previously refused might may now qualify.

Contact Us

For a free initial evaluation phone +1 (305) 770 6530 or Request Free Evaluation