GOOD CHARACTER REQUIREMENT IN BRITISH CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS
The good character requirement is not clear in the British Nationality Act 1981 and there is no legal assistance for its clarification for British Citizenship applications. Overall, it signifies obeying the rights and freedoms of the UK, perceiving the law, and executing their obligations and responsibilities as a resident of the UK.
Latest Changes to the good character requirement in British citizenship
The changes to the good character obligation will straightforwardly affect EU nationals. The updated policy guidance mentions:
“In assessing whether a person has complied with immigration requirements over the previous 10 years, you must take into account whether they were subject to the EEA Regulations 2016 or the Immigration Act 1971 and whether they complied with the relevant requirements. Where an individual has not complied with conditions imposed under the Immigration Acts (for example by overstaying) and has subsequently acquired EEA rights, you must still consider the breaches of the other Immigration Acts”.
In other words, the latest advice demands Visa application caseworkers to scrutinise the immigration status of EU national Applicants for the 10-year period before the date of the naturalisation application. As a result, if there were any phases where Applicants did not possess the appropriate status prior to the 10-year period before the naturalization application it is expected their application would be rejected. Regrettably, obtaining EEA Permanent Status or EEA Settled Status under the EUSS does not repair any phase of unlawful residence in the 10-year period, as both of these settlement applications do not verify whether a person obeyed with the UK immigration obligations for the 10-year period.
Requirement to reveal criminal history in British citizenship applications
Applicants who avoid disclosing substantial information needed, as part of their naturalization application, would be rejected on good character grounds and all further visa applications will be rejected for the coming 10 years.
Applicants should unveil all criminal condemnations inside and outside the UK comprising non-custodial sentences, out of court disposals (e.g. fines, caution, community sentences) undecided prosecutions, fraudulence (e.g. avoiding of convictions disclosure) and violation of immigration rules in a British Nationality Application. On the other hand there is an exclusion, if an applicant has by mistake failed to mention a material information they will not be placed on a 10-year ban. The obligation is on the Applicant to demonstrate it was a genuine error or confusion.
The UK Home Office is also expected to refuse British citizenship applications where trickery was used in a prior application in the 10-year period before the British citizenship application. Applicants sometimes falsely submit their applications considering the 10-year period begins from the date of the violation but actually the 10-year period commences from when the felony was exposed. This could be immensely challenging as in most scenarios the fraud is exposed years after it occurred resulting in Applicant not being able to apply for British citizenship. Then again, with the right legal representation it might be imaginable to submit an application where there are problems with fraud or cheating in previous UK Visa applications.