If one wants to apply to become a British Citizen then he/she is required to meet the good character requirement. Majority of the people who are above 10 years of age and who apply for British Citizenship need to meet this criterion of good character. Home Office in the UK assesses whether an individual applying for British Citizenship is to be considered of good character or not. In order to assess good character, various considerations are carried out by Home Office which includes criminal offenses, financial stability, compliance with UK immigration laws etc. Should the applicant not meet the Good Character requirement the application will be refused.
What is the Good Character Requirement?
- Whether or not the applicant has disrespected the law in any manner or is not ready to follow the law.
- Whether or not applicant been involved or been associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism or other actions in any manner.
- Whether or not the applicant failed to pay taxes.
- Whether or not the applicant has been involved in any kind of notorious activities, which raise serious doubts on their standing in the local community.
- Whether or not the applicant has been deliberately dishonest or deceptive with the UK Government.
- Whether or not applicant avoided immigration control in any manner.
- Whether or not the applicant was previously rejected the UK citizenship or citizenship of another country.
Apart from the above, you also need to know that the assessment of your good character also includes any circumstances that may have occurred to you outside the UK, not just in the UK. You must disclose all offenses you were involved in or associated with, no matter how minor they were according to you. You should not hide anything because if you fail to disclose something which the Home Office comes to know about eventually in their own investigations, then there is strong possibility that your application will be rejected on this basis of failing to disclose. If you do this and it is caught then you may face the claims of dishonesty, which will damage your immigration history quite significantly. And you should always remember that the Good Character requirement applies not just on adults but also to children above the age of 10.
There have been detrimental changes as well to paragraphs 9.5 and 9.7 in recent times that cover issues surrounding compliance with immigration law.
Fines and Fixed Penalty Notices
If you have received a traffic offense imposed by police or any other authority such as Fixed Penalty Notices, Penalty Charge Notices and Penalty Notices for Disorder, traffic rule violations, environmental and civil violations then you need to pay the fine and if you do so then you don’t need to bother as receiving an FPN fine does not form part of a person’s criminal record as there is no admission of guilt. So, this will not affect your good character requirement.
However, if you fail to pay and so you faced criminal proceedings as a result of this or you received numerous FPN suggesting that there is a pattern for behavior from your side which calls into question your character then the Home Office decision maker will consider all these factors when assessing your good character requirement.
How do criminal convictions and sentences affect the Good Character Requirement?
You can note below sentence and its impact on your application for British Citizenship.
- If you got 4 years or more imprisonment sentence then your application will normally be refused.
- If you got a sentence of imprisonment between 12 months and 4 years then your application will normally be refused unless 15 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
- If you got a sentence of imprisonment for up to 12 months then your application will normally be refused unless 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
- If you got a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on a person’s criminal record then your applications will normally be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 3 years.
So, you should always keep in mind about good character requirement when applying for British Citizenship as naturalization. For any assistance, you can contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261.