Short for ‘Accession 2 ’: Bulgaria and Romania, who joined the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2006.
Short for “Accession 8 ”: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. The eight of the ten countries joining the European Union (EU) on 1 May 2004 whose nationals’ rights to work in the UK have been limited. Limitations on working in the UK can continue until 2011, but may be lifted before then. No limitations were imposed on the rights of citizens of Cyprus and Malta, the other two 2004 accession states, to work.
Refers to the process of a country joining the European Union (EU).
A term used in the immigration rules for the status of Commonwealth citizens aged 17 or over with a UK-born grandparent, who can make an application on the basis of this relationship to come to the UK for work, and ultimately for settlement.
A trade treaty between the European Union (EU) and another country. The term is particularly used in immigration law for agreements that give individuals of the non-EU country opportunities to undertake business and self-employment in countries of the EEA. There were association agreements with States that have now joined the European Union (EU), such as Bulgaria and Romania, but the main agreement is now with Turkey.
The main form of British nationality, but not the only one: see also British Overseas Territories Citizens, British Overseas Citizens, British subjects and British Nationals (Overseas). British Citizens have the right freely to enter, remain in and to leave the UK (also known in immigration law as the right of abode). They are subdivided into two groups; those who can pass their nationality to their children, who are called British Citizens otherwise than by descent, and those who cannot, who are called British Citizens by descent.
British Dependent Territories Citizens (BDTCs)
This term is no longer current: BDTCs were renamed British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTCs) in 2002 but, at the same time, they were all made British Citizens except for those connected with the Sovereign Bases on Cyprus. The term is still relevant in nationality law, when looking a person’s former status. BDTCs had a link with a British territory. They kept that status for as long as the country was a colony. It gave them a right of abode in the territory, but no right to enter the UK and no right of abode in the UK.
British Nationality Act 1981
This law (Act of parliament) came into force in 1983. Although it has been updated several times, it is still the basis of modern British nationality law.
British Nationals (Overseas) (BN (O))
A form of British nationality for people who were British Dependent Territories Ciizens in Hong Kong when Hong Kong returned to China. Having this status does not give a right of abode in enter any country, although it is possible to obtain, and to travel on, a BN(O) passport.
British Overseas Citizens (BOCs)
BOCs are people who were born in a British colony but, when that colony became independent, did not become nationals of that colony and held no other nationality. The status of BOC does not confer a right of abode in the UK or anywhere in the world, although certain BOCs can apply for British Citizenship.
British Overseas Territories
Places that are still connected with, and not wholly independent of, the UK. Previously called British Dependent Territories. The current British Overseas Territories are Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctica, the British Indian Ocean Territory (the Chagos Islands, including the island of Diego Garcia), the Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Island, St Helen, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Virgin Islands and the sovereign air bases of Akrotiri and Dhelekia on Cyprus.
British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTCS)
Citizens of the British Overseas Territories, who have not become British citizens. The status also renames what was formerly called British Dependent Territories Citizenship. At the same time as the status was renamed, people who were BOTCs, except those connected with the sovereign bases on Cyprus, became British Citizens. New BOTCS, with the exception of those connected with the sovereign bases, or who have renounced British citizenship, can become British Citizens.
British Protected Persons (BPPs)
People from a country formerly under British protection, who did not acquire the nationality of that country when it became independent, or the nationality of any other country.
People from former colonies who did not acquire the nationality of those countries when they became independent, and did not become Citizens of the UK and Commonwealth (CUKCs) and who have not acquired the nationality of any other country. In early stages of British nationality law, the term had a wider meaning.
Certificate of Approval (CoA)
People who are not EEA nationals are required to obtain permission from the Home Secretary before marrying or contracting a civil partnership in the UK. The permission is issued as a certificate of approval.
Certificate of Entitlement
A passport endorsement indicating that the holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom.
Civil Partnership was introduced into UK law in October 2005 and allows same-sex couples to make a legal commitment similar to marriage. In general, no distinction is made in the Immigration Rules between spouses and civil partners.
Common Travel Area
The common travel area is made up of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. In broad terms, people travelling from elsewhere in the common travel area to the United Kingdom are not subject to immigration control.
This group includes all types of British national, except British Protected Persons, and all citizens of Commonwealth countries.
Discretionary leave (DL)
Leave given outside the Immigration Rules in exceptional cases.
The country in which a person feels they belong and where that person intends to settle for the rest of their life. This is usually the county in which the person was born and grew up, the “domicile or origin” This can be changed only by a conscious decision to settle and stay in another country and thus acquire a 'domicile of choice'. Domicile is not an immigration status, but can affect immigration decisions where it is necessary to look at national laws to establish a person’s status, for example whether they are married or adopted.
Dual Citizenship/dual nationals
Terms used for people who hold citizenship of more than one country. The UK allows dual nationality, as do most countries in the world. A few countries do not, and people who wish to take the citizenship of those countries are expected to give up all other citizenships.
EEA (European Economic Area)
Established on 1 January 1994. Includes the countries of the EU (European Union) plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
EEA family permit
A form of entry clearance issued to the non-EEA family members of an EEA nationals coming to the UK to exercise their rights of free movement.
ELR (Exceptional Leave to Remain)
The old name for Discretionary Leave.
Permission to enter the UK obtained in advance of coming to the UK. Entry clearance takes two forms; "visas" (for visa nationals) and "entry certificates" (for non-visa nationals).
Entry Clearance Officer (ECO)
Official at a British Embassies and consular posts dealing with applications for entry clearance.
EU (European Union)
Member States of the European Union are: Austria; Bulgaria; Belgium; Cyprus; the Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Republic of Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; The Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom.
A permit given to the non-EU family or extended family member of an EU national exercising or planning to exercise rights of free movement in the UK. The family permit is issued by UK consulates and embassies, and is similar to entry clearance.
FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
The UK Ministry dealing with foreign affairs. It runs UK entry clearance (visa) operations abroad, ‘UKvisas’ jointly with the Home Office.
Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP)
A category of immigration application under the immigration rules that allows highly skilled people to come to the UK to work for UK employers and also in self-employment.
Ministry of the UK government that oversees the handling of all nationality, immigration and asylum applications and enforcement and developing policy in these areas of law.
The UK government Minister responsible for the Home Office and thus having responsibility for immigration and nationality.
The Home Office identifies a person as an illegal entrant both when they have avoided immigration control on entering the UK, or where they used false documents or other deception to enter the UK.
Immigration Act 1971
A UK law (Act of parliament). This law has been updated many times, by subsequent laws, but is still the basis of UK immigration powers.
Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006
UK law implementing the European Union (EU) law free movement provisions.
Officials dealing with immigration at UK ports and with enforcement (criminal offences connected with immigration law, removal and deportation).
The rules that set out the different categories of application to come to, or stay in, the UK. Issued as a paper in the UK parliament called HC395, or ‘House of Commons 395’. Changes to the rules are issued as ‘Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules’.
IND (Immigration and Nationality Directorate)
The department of the Home Office responsible for dealing with immigration and nationality.
Leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom without time restrictions. A person with Indefinite Leave can also be described as ‘settled’ or ‘having settlement’ in the UK.
Leave to enter
Permission given by immigration officials at the port of entry to enter the United Kingdom in a particular immigration category, for a limited period, sometimes with conditions. In most cases, entry clearance given before travelling, also serves as leave to enter, but there are circumstances in which an immigration officer can refuse leave to enter even though a person has entry clearance.
Leave to remain
Permission given by the Home Office to remain in the UK. It may be limited or indefinite leave, sometimes with conditions.
This is leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom for a specified period of time. Conditions may be attached.
A part of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) dealing with all forms of business and family immigration. The term is also used by the Home Office to describe its policies on immigration matters other than asylum.
Short for National Recognition Information Centre: the national agency under contract to the UK Government that provides recognition service and comparability information of all international qualifications from 183 countries worldwide with those in the UK.
The process whereby adults who are not British may apply for British Citizenship.
The country in which a person is normally living for the time being. If a person is not legally in a country that period does not count as ordinary residence. It is possible to be ordinarily resident in the UK without being settled here, for example a worker or student may be ordinarily resident in the UK.
An overstayer is someone who remains in the United Kingdom beyond the period of the leave they have been granted.
EEA nationals exercising their right of free movement in the UK and their family and extended family members acquire permanent residence after five years. This is the equivalent for EEA nationals of having Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
The UK plans to change the way in which it allows people to come to the UK for work and business and to create a system with a smaller number of categories, arranged in tiers. In each tier applicants will need to score a minimum number of points to qualify. At present, the only points-based immigration route is the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme.
Police Registration Certificate
Certificate provided by the police to those non-Commonwealth, non-EEA citizens who are required to register with them while residing in the UK.
A term used in the Immigration Rules. In many immigration categories it is a requirement that a person can support themselves without relying on a wide range, and in many cases any, State welfare benefits.
The ways to obtain British nationality are by birth, naturalisation or registration. Registration is a simpler process than naturalisation and is used for children, and for applications from certain adults, including some people who hold other kinds of British nationality (such as British Overseas Citizens).
Certificate issued to EEA nationals evidencing their right of residence under European law. It is not essential to have such a certificate, but if one is requested the Home Office must issue it immediately.
Removal or administrative removal is one means of removing people from the UK when they have no leave to be in the country. The alternative process is deportation. Unlike deportation, removal does not prevent a person applying to return to the UK, but immigration history, including previous removal, will be taken into account when deciding whether to allow a person to return. The Home Office will arrange for, and meet the cost of, a person's enforced removal from the United Kingdom.
Document issued to family members of EEA nationals who are not themselves EEA nationals, evidencing their right of residence under European law. It is not essential to have such a card but if one is requested the Home Office must issue it immediately. Family members who are EEA nationals will get their own registration certificates; they do not need a residence card.
People who are settled in the United Kingdom and are returning to the United Kingdom within two years of departure. They should be admitted for an indefinite period, provided that the Immigration Officers are satisfied that they are coming back to live permanently in the UK.
Right of Abode
The right to enter and stay in the UK, free from immigration controls. All British Citizens have the right of abode. So do some Commonwealth Citizens. The right of abode is evidenced either by having a British Citizen passport or by obtaining a Certificate of Entitlement to the right of abode.
Right of Readmission
The right of certain British nationals who are not British Citizens, but who have been given Indefinite Leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, to return for settlement after any length of absence.
Comprised of all European Union (EU) countries except the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark. The group established common immigration policy and common border controls.
One visa which allows people to apply to travel in all the Schengen Group countries.
A person is settled in the United Kingdom if they are ordinarily resident here without any restriction on the period for which they may remain. Most British Citizens will be regarded as settled. Other people will have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Nationals of countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and their families may have permanent residence.
A family member, friend or other person, who supports a person’s application to come to the UK. For example, if a man is applying to join his British wife, he would be the applicant and she would be the sponsor.
This term is used when people in the UK with one type of leave wish to change to a different type. For example, a person here with a work permit may get married and wish to switch to be in the UK as a spouse. The Immigration Rules set out who is allowed to switch, and into which categories. When switching is prohibited then, except in very exceptional circumstances, it will be necessary to leave the country and obtain a new entry clearance.
This term is most commonly used in immigration law for the rights of citizens of EEA member States to move freely to work, establish themselves in business or to give and receive services throughout the European Union.
Temporary Admission (TA)
Method of admission given as an alternative to detention while the Immigration Officers are considering whether to allow someone in at a port of entry, or after refusal of entry and before removal. Temporary admission is not leave to be in the UK, it is a temporary status.
The name given to the joint Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office department dealing with entry clearance and issuing visas.
Spouses (husbands and wives) and civil partners may apply to join or to stay with their partner in the UK. Where the couple are not married or are not in a civil partnership, and are not intending to marry or become civil partners, they must apply under the Immigration Rules for unmarried partners.
Variation of Leave
This the term used when a person in the UK with one type of leave wishes to change (switch) to another category, or to extend their leave.
People who always require entry clearance to enter the United Kingdom in advance of travelling to the United Kingdom, for whatever purpose.
A work permit is the permission given to an employer to employ a worker from outside the EEA who needs permission to work in the UK. The Work Permit is issued to the employer and gives them permission to employ a specific worker in a specific job. The worker then takes details of the work permit when they apply for entry clearance.
Work Permits UK
The section of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate that issues work permits.
Worker Registration Scheme
Nationals of the A8 and A2 States must register to work in the UK. There are two different worker registration schemes, one for the A8 and one for the A2 (Bulgaria and Romania).