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21 Immigration and Nationality

1. Introduction

There are many laws and rules that say who can come into the United Kingdom (UK), depending on why you are coming and whether you want to stay permanently. This leaflet is about your rights to come to the UK and stay here.

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There is information on:

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?

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 explains how and when people are allowed to come to the UK to visit, work or settle here. The laws and rules for people who have been granted refugee status and people seeking asylum are different. See the CLS Direct leaflet 'Claiming Asylum' for information about this.

The ways that people are allowed to come to the UK are described in rules produced by the Home Office. There are many rules and most of them have been in place for years, but details can change at short notice. The rules, and some of the guidance for the immigration officers who must apply them, are on the Home Office website (see 'Further help').

If you are worried about whether you or a relative or partner will be allowed to stay in the UK, remember that this leaflet is only a guide. Unless your situation is straightforward, you should get expert advice. See 'Further help' for where you can find more advice.

This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (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 2019

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