What are the criteria of “Good

What are the criteria of “Good Character”?

When a person applies for his or her British Citizenship, one of the checks undertaken by the UK Home Office is to the good character of a person. If a person does not fulfil this criterion, the application may be denied. It is thus important that a future British citizenship applicant, keep this in mind, in preparation for the future application.

What are the criteria of “Good

Checks about good character include a person’s tax affairs, criminal convictions, civil judgments and some other issues discussed below.

Tax Affairs

One of the checks conducted by the UK Home Office is to make sure that the applicant’s tax affairs are in order. Citizens have a duty and obligation to pay income tax and National Insurance contributions. When the applicant signs his or her application form for British citizenship, they will be giving consent to the UK Home Office to check with H.M. Revenue & Customs to confirm that their tax affairs are in order.

On many occasions, applicants have outstanding tax issues when they get to point where they should be able to qualify for British citizenship. Should you have unresolved tax issues at the point of application, there is a substantial risk that the application will be rejected.

Should your application be refused due to tax issues, the UK Home Office will not cancel the Indefinite Leave to Remain, but may well confirm that a further application for citizenship can only be submitted after the tax issues have been resolved.

It is thus important that future British Citizenship applicants keep this in mind, and ensure that their Tax and National Insurance contributions are up to date.

Criminal Convictions

When you apply for British Citizenship, you have to provide details of all criminal convictions against you, both in the UK and abroad. These convictions include; road traffic offences (fixed penalty notices will not normally be taken into account) and endorsements on one’s driving licence.

Civil Judgements

The applicant will have to provide details of all civil judgments which have resulted in a court order, as well as any civil penalties under the UK Immigration Act. Details of family law proceedings are not required. Details of bankruptcy charges must also be provided, and where an applicant is an undischarged bankrupt, it is unlikely that the application will succeed.

Other issues that an applicant will among other things have to declare include;

  • Particulars of any caution, warning or reprimands that have been received in the UK and abroad;
  • Sexual offences;
  • Offences for which the applicant may go to court or which is awaiting a hearing in court;
  • Involvement in terrorism;
  • Deceptions made in your dealings with any of the government departments, including the UK home Office; and
  • Whether any of your children have been convicted of an offence or have received a court order (ASBO).

The UK Home Office makes checks in all cases and an applicant who makes false declarations has a strong risk of being found out. In cases where false declarations are made and found out, the application will be denied, and the fee not refunded.

It is also clear from the above that the applicant has to declare almost anything that might indicate that he/she is not of good character. Details also have to be provided, no matter how long ago the offence was.

Fortunately, Breytenbachs have been successful in some cases to proof that the person has since been rehabilitated and is of good character and fit to be a British Citizen. Breytenbachs thus strongly advise all immigrants on their route to British Citizenship to keep in mind that they will have to fulfill the criteria of ‘good character’ and not to do anything to compromise the future application. In cases where a mishap has taken place, all is not lost, and we strongly advise such persons to get in touch with Breytenbachs to plan ahead.

www.bic-immigration.com or info@bic-immigration.com