right of abode

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The right to enter the UK and live and work in the UK with no restrictions under UK immigration control. The Immigration Act 1971 gave the right of abode to all citizens of the UK and Colonies who either owed their status to their own (or a parent's or grandparent's) birth, registration, or naturalization in the UK or were or became at any time settled in the UK and had at that time been ordinarily resident there for at least five years. Commonwealth citizens had the right of abode if one of their parents was a citizen of the UK and Colonies by reason of birth in the UK. As from 1 January 1983 the Act was amended by the British Nationality Act 1981 to confine the right of abode to British citizens as defined by that Act (see British citizenship) and to Commonwealth citizens enjoying it before the Act came into force. Since 2002 nearly all holders of British Overseas Territories citizenship have also had the right of abode. Nationals of other EU states are exempt from most restrictions under UK immigration control but do not have the right of abode. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 contains several provisions empowering the Home Secretary to deprive a person of right of abode if it is considered that such deprivation is “conducive to the public good”.

Subjects: Law.

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