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21 Immigration and Nationality

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1. Introduction

2. Do I need permission to come to the UK?

3. How is entry to the UK controlled?

4. What sort of permission do I need to come to the UK?

5. What if I want to work in the UK?

6. What restrictions are there after I´ve arrived in the UK?

7. What if I want to settle in the UK?

8. What if my application is refused?

9. What if I stay longer than I am allowed to?

10. Who has a right to British nationality?

Several types of people have British nationality. All of them can have a British passport. The largest group is British citizens, who have the 'right of abode'.

Until the law was changed at the start of 1983, everyone born here became a citizen unless their parents were here as foreign diplomats when they were born. However, since 1983, children only become citizens if the parents are settled in the UK when the child is born. If the parents still have a time limit on their stay or have no permission to be here when the child is born, the child does not become a citizen. However, the child will be able to become a British citizen if their parents settle here later.

Anyone who becomes a British citizen in the UK can pass on citizenship to their child born abroad. British citizens have rights to travel freely and to work in European Economic Area countries (see 'What if I am a citizen of a European country?' for a list of these countries. Other people who live in the UK need permission from other European countries if they want to work there. People born abroad who become British citizens because their parents are British citizens cannot pass on their citizenship to their own children born abroad.

11. How can I become a British citizen?

12. Where can I get help with my immigration application?

13. Terms used in immigration and nationality matters

14. Further help

15. About this leaflet


This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and Mick Chatwin, a barrister and solicitor specialising in immigration law.

Leaflet Version: June 2006

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