Good Character Requirement

British Citizenship Requirement

To be eligible for British Citizenship an applicant has to meet the Good Character Requirement. The majority of people over the age of 10 who apply for British citizenship will be required to meet these criteria.

 

Aspects the Home Office look at in regards to the Good Character Requirement

  • An applicant has disrespected the law or is not prepared to abide by the law
  • Associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism or other actions that are considered not to be conducive to the public good
  • Failing to pay taxes
  • Being involved in notorious activities that cast serious doubt on their standing in the local community
  • Have been deliberately dishonest or deceptive with the UK Government
  • Have partaken in the avoidance of immigration control
  • Previously been rejected citizenship in the UK or another country

 

The effect of criminal convictions and sentences on the Good Character Requirement

 

Sentence Impact
4 years’ or more imprisonment. Application will normally be refused, regardless of when the conviction occurred.
Between 12 months’ and 4 years’ imprisonment. Application will normally be refused unless 15 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
Up to 12 months’ imprisonment. Applications will normally be refused unless 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence
A non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on a person’s criminal record Applications will normally be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 3 years.

 

Fines and Fixed Penalty Notices

If you have received a traffic offence such as FPN (Fixed Penalty Notices, Penalty Charge Notices and Penalty Notices for Disorder) that are imposed by the Police or other authorised enforcement officers for traffic rule violations, environmental and civil violations then you generally don’t have to be concerned if you paid the fine and didn’t go to court. Receiving a FPN fine does not form part of a person’s criminal record as there is no admission of guilt. This means it will not affect your good character requirement.

The Home Office decision maker will not consider these unless the person has:

  1. failed to pay and there were criminal proceedings as a result; or
  2. received numerous fixed penalty notices which would suggest a pattern of behaviour that calls into question their character.

 

Where a fixed penalty notice or fiscal fine has been referred to a court due to non- payment or the notice has been unsuccessfully challenged by the person in court, the decision maker will consider this as a conviction and assessed in line with the new sentence imposed. This means that due to going to court your good character may now be in question.

If you need assistance with your British Citizenship application and understanding the good Character Requirements then contact WM Immigration for a free assessment

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