The Complete Guide to the Right of Abode for Commonwealth Citizens

The Complete Guide to the Right of Abode for Commonwealth Citizens

Numerous rights and privileges are available to everyone in the UK who has the right of abode for Commonwealth citizens. Additionally, Commonwealth citizens have the right of abode, which means they are free to work or live in the United Kingdom.


As a result, you won’t need a visa to visit the UK. As a result, you can spend as much time as you want in the U


The most prevalent immigration status in the UK is the right of abode. This is because it is linked to British citizenship. However, it is not the same as indefinite leave to remain (ILR). In the United Kingdom, ILR is another type of long-term residency status. On the other hand, you can compare it to the status of permanent resident in other nation


As a result, the Commonwealth citizenship right will be discussed in this article. its advantages, membership, and other essential details.

What does the right to abode mean to Commonwealth citizens?
For Commonwealth citizens, the right of abode is an immigration status in the UK that grants them the unrestricted right to enter and live in the UK. This was made possible by the Immigration Act of 1971, ROACC was made possible, and it became law on January 1, 1973.

In addition, this status is held by certain British subjects, British citizens, and Commonwealth citizens who had particular ties to the UK prior to 1983. Since 1983, a British citizen is required to obtain this status.

Citizens with the right to live in the UK Individuals with the right to live in the UK are:

The United Kingdom is a legal residence for all British citizens.
Some members of the Commonwealth do not hold British citizenship.
These Commonwealth citizens can show that they had the right to live in the UK on December 31, 1982, and that they have remained Commonwealth citizens ever since.
Requirements for the right to live in the UK A commonwealth citizen must meet certain requirements in order to obtain the right to live in the UK. These are:

You must be a Commonwealth citizen and have a parent or adoptive parent who was a citizen of the UK or one of the Colonies (CUKC) at the time of your birth or adoption.
Be a female Commonwealth citizen who was married to a man with the right of abode before December 31, 1982, or was married to one before that date.
Since that time, you remain a Commonwealth citizen.


Definition of Citizens of the UK and Colonies (CUKC)

The term “UK and Colonies” refers to the United Kingdom and the nations that Britain colonized from January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1982. People were referred to as “citizens of the UK and Colonies,” which was the primary form of citizenship.

In addition, the British Nationality Act of 1981 made it automatic for British citizens to become British citizens for UK and Colonies residents who had the right of abode on December 31, 1982. Nationality Instructions is a section of UK Visas and Immigration Guidance (for the UK and Colonies).

In fact, only a small number of Commonwealth citizens are permitted to reside in the UK. This is because certain requirements are required. Examples of these are: that their parent must have been a British or colonial citizen. Additionally, the parent must have been born in the United Kingdom.


People from older Commonwealth nations therefore meet the requirements. Canada and New Zealand, for example, are more likely to fulfill the requirements of the right of abode. However, individuals from “new” Commonwealth nations failed to meet the requirements.

Right of abode for Windrush generation members

Some Windrush generation members meet the requirements for the right of abode in the United Kingdom. The Windrush scheme is a separate application procedure administered by the UK Government for these individuals.

In addition, the government encourages individuals eligible for the Windrush Scheme to apply for it. This application is distinct from requesting a certificate of entitlement to demonstrate one’s right to abode in the United Kingdom.

The advantages of having the right of abode

Every person who has the right of abode in the United Kingdom enjoys these advantages. These advantages are available to them regardless of whether they are British subjects, Commonwealth citizens, or British citizens. The advantages are:

  • A right to enter, live, work, and study in the UK without condition.
  • An entitlement to utilize the UK, EEA, and Switzerland immigration channels at entry points into the United Kingdom.
  • A right to apply for welfare and social security benefits in the United Kingdom. However, those with indefinite entry permission may also apply.
  • A right to vote and the ability to run for public office in the UK. A Commonwealth citizen is anyone who has the right to live there. As a result, obtaining these rights necessitates residing in the UK.
  • A person’s right of abode typically is valid for life and will not expire, in contrast to indefinite leave to remain. It is valid for as long as they are outside of the UK.
  • Their rights cannot be revoked, regardless of whether they have entered the UK.
  • If the holder loses their Commonwealth or British citizenship, it will be revoked. or for citizens of the Commonwealth when the Home Secretary deemed it appropriate for the public good.

How to establish residency in the United Kingdom

The following methods can be used to establish residency:

  • Your British passport, which identifies you as a British citizen, is proof that you have the right to reside in the UK for British citizens.
  • A passport from the UK that identifies you as a “British subject” with the right to reside there.
  • A vignette or sticker that is attached to your passport or other travel document is called a certificate of entitlement.

How to apply for a certificate of entitlement

You can use an online form or fill out FormForm ROA to apply for a certificate of entitlement. Only applicants residing in the United Kingdom can obtain Form ROA.

However, you must use the online FormForm if you are applying for the certificate from outside the UK.

Keep in mind that if your travel document or passport ever expires, you will need to apply for a new certificate of entitlement.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Commonwealth’s primary objective?
The Commonwealth is a group of 54 nations working toward common objectives. The Commonwealth is a group of 54 nations working toward the same goals of peace, democracy, and prosperity.

What kind of evidence is required for the certificate of entitlement application?
According to Home Office Guidance, which was released in March 2019 and is titled “Right of Abode (RoA) – Applying for a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode,” you will need to include the following information with your application for a certificate of entitlement:

Your valid travel document or passport.
Two images of you taken no more than six months prior to the application deadline.
and specific proof of how you got your right to live in the UK. Your specific circumstances will determine what kind of evidence is required for your application.
How much does it cost to submit a request for a certificate of entitlement?
At the time of writing, it costs £372 to apply for a certificate of entitlement within the UK and £388 to apply outside the UK.

How much time will it take to process my certificate of entitlement application?
The Home Office hasn’t said how long it will take for applications from within the UK for a certificate of entitlement.

However, the UK Visas and Immigration Guidance entitled Visa decision waiting times apply to certificates of entitlement applications submitted from outside the UK.


Does the right to reside continue?

Your certificate of entitlement cannot “expire,” and neither will your right of abode in the UK.


However, if your travel document or passport expires, your certificate of entitlement will no longer be valid. Consequently, you will need to obtain a new passport or travel document if your certificate of entitlement expires on your passport or travel document. Then, submit a second application for the certification of entitlement so that it can be incorporated into your new travel document or passport.

A right of abode can be taken away, restricted, or revoked, but it cannot expire.


In conclusion, you now understand what Commonwealth citizens’ right of abode is. If you are qualified, use our complete guide to obtain yours.


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