BRITISH CITIZENSHIP - GOOD CHARACTER REQUIREMENTS
naturalisation, British Citzenship
Recently, the Home Office has quietly imposed additional requirements under the good character test. This test is one of the requirements to be met by all applicants who wish to apply for British Citizenship. However, the British Nationality Act 1981 does not define the meaning of ‘good character’ and therefore there is no statutory guidance assessing this requirement. Nonetheless, the Home Office has published a guidance explaining how they would assess this requirement in Nationality applications.
According to the guidance, all applicants are expected demonstrate that they have been paying tax and making National Insurance Contributions. Applicants are also required to declare all criminal convictions as well as civil penalties both within and outside the United Kingdom. All applicants who are over the age of 10 will have to meet these requirements, unless they are exempted.
The requirements below have been added into the good character test and these apply to all decision taken on or after 11 December 2014 :
a. Illegal Entry
In circumstances where an applicant entered the UK illegally, an application for citizenship should normally be refused for a period of 10 years from the date of entry, if it is known. If it is not known, the period of 10 years starts from the date on which the person first brought themselves to or came to the attention of the Home Office.
b. Assisting Illegal Migration
The decision maker will normally refuse an application if there are grounds for believing that the person is currently, or has previously been, involved in an attempt to assist someone in the evasion of immigration control. This includes a person whose spouse’s/civil partner’s recent application for entry clearance has been refused on relationship grounds.
c. Evasion of Immigration control
The decision maker will normally refuse an application if within the 10 years preceding the application the person has not been compliant with immigration requirements, including but not limited to having:
failed to report
failed to comply with any conditions imposed under the Immigration Acts
been detected working in the UK without permission
This means that the Applicants will not qualify for British Citizenship if within the 10 years prior to the date of application they have fall under one of the requirements above.
However, the main issue brought to our attention is that the 10 years rule will apply to those who failed to comply with Immigration requirements especially those who failed to comply with ANY conditions imposed under the Immigration Act. Unfortunately, there is no further clarification or examples relating to this point at this stage.