Things to keep in mind between

Things to keep in mind between receiving ILR and applying for British citizenship — good character

Last week we have discussed the issue of ’Travel restrictions’ as requirement that needs to be in place before being able to apply for British Citizenship. This week our focus is on the requirement of ‘Good Character”.

Things to keep in mind between

The UK Home Office undertakes certain checks in relation to applications for British citizenship. These checks are all pertaining to the good character requirement that an applicant is required to fulfill. Below we discuss shortly some of the checks that are made.

Tax affairs

One of the checks is to ensure that an applicant’s tax affairs are up to date. Applicants have a duty and obligation to pay income tax and National Insurance contributions. When signing your application form for British citizenship, you will be giving consent to the UK Home Office to check with H.M. Revenue & Customs to confirm that your tax affairs are in order.

Sometimes clients have outstanding tax issues when they get to point where they should be able to qualify for British citizenship. If someone has unsolved tax issues, there is a substantial risk that the application will be rejected. If citizenship is refused, 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 has been resolved.

Criminal convictions

The applicant will have to provide details of all criminal convictions both within and outside the UK. This includes; 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 inter alia have to declare include;

  •  Particulars of any cautions, warning or reprimands that have been received in the UK and elsewhere,
  • Details of any sexual offences,
  • Whether there is any offence for which he/she may go to court or which is awaiting a hearing in court,
  • Any involvement in terrorism,
  • Any 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).

It is thus clear that the applicant will need to declare almost anything that might indicate that he/she is not of a good character, and details have to be provided not matter how long ago it was. The UK Home Office make checks in all cases and an application may fail and the application fee not refunded where a false declaration is made.

BIC also strongly recommends that persons wanting to apply for British citizenship ensure that all outstanding tax and NI issues are resolved before submitting an application.

Next week we will be discussing the English language requirement when applying for British Citizenship.

For further information or for assistance with your application, please contact one of consultants who will be able to provide specific information in your unique case.

JP Breytenbach

Director of BIC, Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited. or

Read more:

Things to keep in mind between receiving ILR and applying for British Citizenship — Travel Restrictions

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