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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. It takes the form of a stamp in a passport and is considered the next best thing to a British passport. The right can never be lost.

Live and work in the UK without immigration control

The right of abode is available to:

  • A person born in a Commonwealth country that has never ceased to be a member of the Commonwealth before 1 January 1983 (so this excludes South Africa and Pakistan), where one of their parents was born in the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland and, before the 31 March 1922, the Republic of Ireland).
  • A woman who remained a Commonwealth citizen on 1 January 1983 (so this excludes South Africa and Pakistan) who was married to a British man before 1983.

The right of abode allows the candidate to live and work in the UK and counts time towards naturalisation as a British citizen.


South Africa

Cape Town
Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

201 The Annex
Ridgeside Office Park
t: +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514

5-7 Selsdon Road
South Croydon
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7581


Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

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