Uk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens

What is the CitizensUk? The Visa is designed for Commonwealth citizens and is a replacement for the former UK Work Permit. The CitizensUk investment immigration program enables overseas investors to gain a visa by making an investment in the country’s economy. This immigration program officially started on April 7th 2015 replacing the old program of Tier 1 Investor and Entrepreneur where you had to achieve a certain amount of income from your business activity in order to qualify. A core element of the new immigration program is that individual applicants are not required to be involved in any specific economic activity and can use the money in any way they choose. This, along with an increased investment cap and relaxed qualifying criteria, means that more individuals than before will be able to qualify for the visa and obtain residence in the United Kingdom.

Citizens of the commonwealth might wonder which work visa program they should choose when moving to another country. The Citizen UK work visas for citizens in the commonwealth might seem like a good fit for you.

Citizens of Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, have now been given a new opportunity to work in the UK. This is especially beneficial to citizens of developing Commonwealth countries many of whom have family ties to the UK.

Uk Work Visa For Commonwealth

CitizensUk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens

CitizensUk offers you the opportunity to work in the United Kingdom and earn money. You can get a job in the UK, if you meet the requirements of CitizensUk.

We help you find a job and get a work visa for Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The process is simple and fast. You can complete it within 10 days.

All you need is an online application form and your passport details. Once we receive your application, we will start checking your documents, so that we can proceed with your visa application process in Dubai or Abu Dhabi embassies of these countries in the UAE.

You will get your visa from one of the embassies of these countries within 10 days after submitting all required documents such as:

  • Passport photo (1 copy) – 1 page
  • Copy of passport (1 page)
  • Copy of Emirates ID Card (1 page)
  • Residence permit (1 page)
  • Employment contract (1 page)

CitizensUk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens

If you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country, you may be eligible to work in the UK on a Tier 5 Temporary Worker visa. This visa is suitable for those who wish to work in the UK for up to 12 months as an au pair, or for those who have been offered a skilled job with a licensed employer. It also allows graduates of UK universities and colleges to stay in the country after their studies have finished.

In order to apply for this type of visa, you must be able to provide evidence that both you and your employer meet certain criteria. You must also show that you have enough money saved up to support yourself while living here (either through savings or by having a guarantor). If you don’t meet these requirements then it is unlikely that your application will be successful.

If you are a Commonwealth citizen, you may be eligible for a UK Work Visa.

The UK Work Visa is for Commonwealth citizens who wish to work in the United Kingdom for an employer based in the UK. The visa is an endorsement on your passport which allows you to enter and remain in the country for up to 3 years with the possibility of extending it after that period.

Unlike some other work visas, this visa requires no sponsorship from an employer and guarantees that you will be able to find employment upon arrival in the UK.

In order to qualify as a Commonwealth citizen, you must have been born in one of the following countries: Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Bangladesh; Barbados; Belize; Botswana; Brunei Darussalam; Cameroon; Canada; Cyprus; Dominica; Fiji Islands; Gambia; Ghana; Grenada; Guyana (British); India (British); Jamaica (British); Kenya (British); Kiribati Islands (British); Lesotho (British); Malawi (British); Malaysia (British); Maldives Islands (British); Malta (British); Mauritius ( British ); Namibia

In this post we look at some of the most frequently asked questions about the right of abode in the UK for Commonwealth citizens. This post covers: what the right of abode is, how to find out if you have the right of abode in the UK if you are a Commonwealth citizen and how to prove you have it.

What is the right of abode?

The right of abode is an immigration status which means a person is free to live in, work in, enter and leave the UK without being subject to immigration controls. A person with the right of abode does not need a visa to enter the UK and there are no limits on the length of time they can spend in the UK.

Section 1(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 states the only hindrances those with the right of abode may face are those that are required to “enable their right to be established or as may be otherwise lawfully imposed on any person”. For example, you may be asked to show your passport containing proof you have the right of abode when entering the UK and refused entry to the UK if unable to provide this.

To read about the history of the right of abode, read the section on ‘Nationality Law and (De)Colonisation’ in this post  on our Knowledge Centre.

Who has the right of abode in the UK?

All British citizens have the right of abode in the UK. 

Certain individuals from Commonwealth countries, who are not British citizens, also have the right of abode in the UK. These are citizens from Commonwealth countries who are able to prove they had the right of abode in the UK on 31 December 1982 and have not ceased to be Commonwealth citizens since then. Section 2 (1) (b) of the Immigration Act 1971 (as amended by section 39(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981) and Home Office Guidance entitled Nationality: right of abode, Version 5.0, published on  27 November 2019, sets out the requirements a Commonwealth citizen must meet in order to have the right of abode in the UK.

You must:

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen with a parent or adoptive parent who, at the time of the your birth or adoption, was a citizen of the UK and Colonies (CUKC) by birth in the UK;

    OR
  • Be a female Commonwealth citizen who is, or has been, married to a man with the right of abode at any time before 31 December 1982;

AND

  • have not ceased to be a Commonwealth citizen at any time since then.

What counts as a ‘Commonwealth citizen’ for the purpose of the right of abode?

For a list of Commonwealth countries, see Schedule 3 of the British Nationality Act 1981. Even if a Commonwealth country is currently listed in Schedule 3 of the British Nationality Act 1981, if a Commonwealth country was not part of the Commonwealth on 31 December 1982 or it left the Commonwealth after 31 December 1982, then individuals from that Commonwealth country will not have the right of abode, even if they meet the other requirements for the right of abode outlined further above.


For example, whilst Pakistan and South Africa are currently Commonwealth countries, as they left the Commonwealth in 1972 and 1961 respectively, and only rejoined the Commonwealth in 1989 and 1994, rejoining did not have the effect of reviving any claims by their nationals to right of abode in the UK. Therefore, citizens of Pakistan and South Africa cannot have the right of abode in the UK by virtue of belonging to a Commonwealth country, unless they are British citizens or citizens of another eligible Commonwealth country.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, Zimbabwe and The Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 and 2013 respectively, but for nationality purposes they still remain on the list of Commonwealth countries at Schedule 3 of the British Nationality Act 1981. Therefore, nationals from Zimbabwe and The Gambia can still have the right of abode in the UK as Commonwealth citizens, as long as they satisfy the other requirements for the right of abode mentioned further above.

Who is a citizen of the UK and Colonies (CUKC)?

The ‘UK and Colonies’ refers to the UK and countries Britain colonised. From 1 January 1949 to 31 December 1982, the main form of citizenship was citizenship to the UK and Colonies and people were called ‘citizens of the UK and Colonies’. Citizens of the UK and Colonies who had the right of abode on 31 December 1982 automatically became British citizens under the British Nationality Act 1981. UK Visas and Immigration Guidance entitled Nationality Instructions (UK and Colonies), published on 17 December 2007, lists the countries which are considered to have been part of the ‘UK and Colonies’ at various points in time. 

The Home Office has published a flowchart   on the GOV.UK website to help people assess whether a citizen of the UK and Colonies had the right of abode on 31 December 1982. This may be used to assess whether your parent, adoptive parent or partner had the right of abode on 31 December 1982. If a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies did have the right of abode on 31 December 1982, then they are already a British citizen and therefore have the right of abode in the UK.

In reality, not many citizens from Commonwealth countries will have the right of abode in the UK due to the requirement that their parent must have been a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and that the parent must have been born in the UK. For this reason and as explained in the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, Independent Review by Wendy Williams, published on 19 March 2020, people from “old” Commonwealth countries such as Canada or New Zealand are more likely to meet the requirements of the right of abode, as opposed to people from “new” Commonwealth countries.

Right of abode for individuals from the Windrush generation

It is possible some individuals from the Windrush generation may meet the requirements of the right of abode in the UK. However, the UK Government has a separate application process for these individuals known as the ‘Windrush scheme’. The Government advises people eligible under the Windrush Scheme to apply for the Windrush Scheme as opposed to applying for a certificate of entitlement to prove you have the right of abode in the UK (more on the certificate of entitlement further below).

How do I prove I have the right of abode in the UK?

If you are a British citizen, your British passport describing you as a British citizen is evidence that you have the right of abode in the UK.

The Home Office’s Guidance entitled, ‘Nationality: right of abode‘, Version 5.0, published on 27 November 2019, confirms two other ways to prove you have the right of abode in the UK: 

  • a UK passport describing you as a ‘British subject’ with right to abode in the UK; 
  • a certificate of entitlement, which is a vignette (or sticker) fixed inside your passport or travel document.

How do I apply for a certificate of entitlement?

You can apply for a certificate of entitlement on the GOV.UK website. You can apply using an online form or by completing Form ROA. Form ROA is only available to those applying within the UK.

If you are applying for the certificate from outside the UK, you must apply using the online form. 

Once your passport expires or travel document expires, you will need to apply for a new certificate of entitlement.

What evidence does the application for a certificate of entitlement require?

Home Office Guidance entitled, ‘Right of Abode (RoA) – Applying for a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode‘, published in March 2019, states that you will need to provide the following with your application for a certificate of entitlement:

  • Your valid passport or travel document;
  • Two photographs of you taken no more than 6 months before the date of your application;
  • And specific evidence to show how you obtained the right of abode in the UK. The specific evidence required for your application depends on your individual circumstances. Pages 9-12 of the Home Office Guidance and this Schedule  in the Immigration (Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode in the United Kingdom) Regulations 2006 lists the additional documents you will need to provide with your certificate of entitlement application, depending on the way in which you gained the right of abode in the UK.

How much does the application for a certificate of entitlement cost?

At the time of writing, the application for a certificate of entitlement costs £372 if you are applying within the UK and £388 if applying from outside the UK. 

How long will it take to process my application for a certificate of entitlement?

For applications for a certificate of entitlement made within the UK, the Home Office has not provided an indication as to how long this will take. 

For certificate of entitlement applications made outside the UK, UK Visas and Immigration Guidance entitled  Visa decision waiting times: applications outside the UK, published on 10 December 2019, says you should receive a decision on your application for a certificate of entitlement 3 weeks after you attend your appointment at the visa application centre. 

As a citizen of the Commonwealth of nations, there a few routes to UK immigration visa applications and advice. Routes include spouses (marital link) or through UK ancestry visa applications (parental links) to enter the UK for a work permit. These visa routes are only for the purpose of work in the UK, not to study or visit.

What is a Commonwealth Citizen

You can confirm if you are a  national of countries that are members of the Commonwealth in our List of Eligible Countries. If your country is on the list, and you have a grandparent born in the UK, then you will be eligible for a UK ancestry visa application being granted successfully.

A Commonwealth citizen must be aged 17 or over, who can show that one of his grandparents was born in the UK or in the Islands and who intends to take or seek employment in the UK and support himself without needing public funds, may be granted entry clearance in this category.

The entry clearance is mandatory and limited leave is given of five years. After a period of 5 years on a UK ancestry visa application successfully, you can then renew to obtain ILR (indefinite Leave to remain) under the settlement provisions.

Proof required for a UK Ancestry visa application

You must be able to provide proof that one of your grandparents was born in the UK or Islands, or even a UK registered boat.

Conclusion

The CitizensUk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens is a great way to get a UK working visa if you are from one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada and Gambia. The CitizensUk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens will allow you to stay and work in the UK for up to 5 years.

This visa is designed for those who have an offer of employment from a UK employer or self-employment in the UK. You must also have enough money to support yourself during your stay in the UK.

CitizensUk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens

Citizens of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK have the opportunity to apply for a work visa. The CitizensUk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens is designed specifically for citizens of Commonwealth countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria who want to work in the UK.

The CitizensUk Work Visa For Commonwealth Citizens is available to individuals who have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status in the UK for at least three years prior to making an application. The ILR status must be obtained by having been granted indefinite leave to remain under one of the following categories: family route; work route; or marriage route.

Applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they are genuinely seeking employment in the UK before applying for this visa type. They must also provide evidence that they have sufficient funds available at the time of their application so that they can support themselves during their stay in the country.

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