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The Home Secretary Suella Braverman said:
“British citizenship is a privilege. Those who commit crimes shouldn’t be able to enjoy the breadth of rights citizenship brings, including holding a British passport, voting and accessing free medical care from the NHS. I am cracking down on abuse of the UK’s immigration and nationality system, by introducing a tougher threshold so that serious criminals cannot gain British citizenship. This is the fair and right thing to do for the United Kingdom…..”
How Did The Old Citizenship Rules Protect Criminals Right To Apply?
As of my last update in September 2021, the “good character” requirement is an essential aspect of the UK government’s Immigration Rules for individuals seeking British citizenship through naturalization. The good character requirement assesses an applicant’s conduct and criminal history to determine whether they meet the standard of character expected for becoming a British citizen.
The specific criteria and thresholds for the good character requirement was not be explicitly defined in the Immigration Rules. Instead, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) consider various factors, including an applicant’s criminal record, immigration history, financial history, and behaviour, when assessing their character.
Generally, serious criminal offenses, such as those involving violence, drug trafficking, or sexual offenses, could significantly impact an applicant’s chances of meeting the good character requirement. Minor or non-violent offenses were considered less severely. However, it’s essential to remember that each case is assessed individually, and the UKVI will take into account all relevant circumstances.
Under the old rules if an applicant was found not to meet the good character requirement, their citizenship application could be refused. It’s also worth noting that individuals with certain criminal convictions may be subject to deportation or removal from the UK.
In the past not all criminals would automatically be disqualified from claiming British citizenship, individuals with serious criminal convictions, particularly those involving violence, drug trafficking, or sexual offenses, could find it difficult to meet the good character requirement. Minor or non-violent offenses would have been considered less severely, in the past could still impact the application process, The Home Office would consider Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (1974 Act) and carefully consider all the relevant factors raised by the applicant and carefully weigh any countervailing evidence of good character. The Home Office would take into account any past convictions regardless of when they took place, as nationality decisions are exempt from section 4 of the 1974 Act that provides for certain convictions to become ‘spent’ after fixed periods of time, for additional guidance on good character.
Will Applicants With Convictions BE Refused British Nationality?
Tougher rules will make sure serious criminals cannot claim British citizenship regardless of when or where the crime took place.
The government crackdown will come into effect tomorrow (31 July), with the strengthened rules applying to new applications from anyone who has received at least a 12-month prison sentence. This re-affirms the government’s commitment to protecting UK borders and ensuring no one with a Criminal record can abuse the British immigration and nationality system.
The updated rules are stricter and more specific on so-called “good character” requirements, which are a key condition to be granted British citizenship, and look at whether an individual has observed UK law as well as shown respect for the rights and freedoms of British citizens. The requirements include factors such as criminal convictions, immigration offending and serious behaviour like war crimes, terrorism or genocide.
The changes remove the previous rules where some criminals could be granted British citizenship after a prescribed number of years had passed since the end of their sentence – regardless of the type of crime or where it was committed.
New rules are set to come into force aimed at preventing serious criminals gaining British citizenship.
Changes to the ‘good character’ requirement of citizenship applications from Monday will see tougher rules applied to anyone who has received a 12-month prison sentence.
It will scrap previous rules where criminals could be granted citizenship if a certain number of years had passed since they finished their sentence – regardless of the type of crime. Anyone who had spent less than a year in prison also faced an application being rejected until 10 years had passed.
Unfortunately if you have a past conviction where the minimum sentence was 12 months you will be refused British Nationality.
You may wish to read other articles on this matter :
What You Need To Know If You Have Criminal Convictions?
The Good Character Requirement aims to assess whether you are of good character and is considered to be a law-abiding and responsible member of the community. The assessment takes into account an individual’s criminal record, immigration history, financial conduct, and any other relevant factors.
The Home Office will conduct a thorough background check on you to determine whether you meet the Good Character Requirement. Any serious criminal convictions or previous immigration violations may be grounds for refusal of the application. Minor offenses or certain historical issues may not necessarily result in automatic rejection, but they will be considered in the overall assessment.
It’s essential for you to be to be honest in your application and provide all required information during the application process. Failing to disclose relevant information or providing false information could also negatively impact the application and may be viewed as dishonesty, which is not in line with the Good Character Requirement.
If you require legal advice contact Shabana Shahab NOW 01634789223….