Live permanently in the UK
“British citizens” have an automatic right of abode in the UK. A British citizen who has been living abroad or who is migrating to the UK for the first time, can therefore pass the ordinary residence test upon taking up settled residence in the UK. British citizens who are no longer living and settled in the UK cannot be said to be ordinarily residents in the UK.
Check here for ways in which people can be lawfully resident in the UK
Check here if you can get indefinite leave to remain. (Indefinite leave to remain is how you settle in the UK. It’s also called ‘settlement’. It gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like and apply for benefits if you’re eligible. You can use it to apply for British citizenship. There are different ways to apply for indefinite leave to remain based on your circumstances. If you or your family member are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you may be able to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme instead).
Right to reside
You have a right to live in the UK if any of the following is true:
- you’re a British citizen (which includes nationals of the Channel Islands or Isle of Man)
- you’re a citizen of Ireland
- you have pre-settled or settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme
- you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK (ILR)
- you have a residence document
- you’re exempt from immigration control
If you or your family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. The deadline for most people to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021. You may still be able to apply in some circumstances. Find out if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
When you do not have the right to reside
You do not have the right to reside but can stay in the UK while you have one of the following:
- a visa
- a family permit
You can apply if you’ve been living in the UK for 5 years on a UK Ancestry visa.
Some Commonwealth citizens have ‘right of abode’ in the UK. This means you can live or work in the UK without immigration restrictions. Check if you can apply to prove you have right of abode in the UK.
Returning to live in the UK
You need a Returning Resident visa to come back to live in the UK if you were previously settled (given ‘indefinite leave to enter or remain’) and you’ve been away for more than two years. Your dependents (partner and children under 18) need to apply separately for a Returning Resident visa if they’re eligible.
Accessing healthcare in the UK
Find out how to access healthcare in the UK here.
Disclaimer: The content of this page has been provided by GOV.UK and is for general information only. It is subject to change without notice.