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’.
If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
If you or your family member started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:
- you have a later deadline - for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 - for example, you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse
Otherwise you need a visa to work in the UK.
Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme.