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21 Immigration and Nationality

Download Immigration and nationality (PDF File, 203kb)

1. Introduction

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

3. How is entry to the UK controlled?

There are four situations in which you may need to show that you are allowed to come to or stay in the UK. They are:

  • at a British embassy or other consular post overseas, when you apply for a visa (or other kind of entry clearance);
  • at a British airport or seaport when you arrive in the UK, or when you are getting on a Channel Tunnel train;
  • at the Home Office after you have arrived in the UK, when you apply to extend your permission to stay, or to change the reason for your stay; and
  • if you are questioned by immigration officers or the police in the UK to check that you do have permission to be here.

You can also be asked about your immigration status when you apply for certain things in the UK, including:

  • social security benefits;
  • a bank account;
  • hospital treatment;
  • housing from your local authority;
  • a school or college place for yourself or one of your children;
  • a marriage licence; or
  • a job.

For these things, you may have to show papers such as your passport or a Home Office letter to prove that you have permission to be here. These are not immigration controls. But getting the service (for example, benefits or a job) may depend on your immigration status, and the organisation invloved (for example, a Jobcentre or employer) may pass information about you to the immigration authorities.

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?

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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