Changes in the assessment of good character in citizenship applications are introduced

Posted: 11/01/2013


On 13 December 2012 amendments were made to the nationality instructions affecting anyone applying for citizenship on or after that date. The main changes focus on criminality and how it is assessed in terms of the good character requirement in citizenship applications. Some of the main changes are summarised below: 

  • previously criminal convictions were measured against the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Now applications made on or after 13 December 2012 which feature a criminal conviction will be measured against a new set of sentencing limits;
  • where an application features a sentence of four years or more in prison, this can never fall outside a sentencing threshold. Such an application for citizenship is likely to be refused;
  • meeting the good character requirement will also be determined by looking at the police cautions; and
  • there will be greater scope to discount some disciplinary military offences when deciding nationality applications from serving and former members of HM Forces.

For full details of the changes that have been made in terms of the assessment of good character, please click here.


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