NEWS ALERT: Good character guidance for naturalisation updated

08 Aug 2023, 36 mins ago

New good character guidance for nationality applications was released by the Home Office on 31 July 2023.

Following the release of the new character guidance by the Home Office, it appears that the main change is the removal of sentence-based thresholds for criminal convictions.

For applications made before 31 July 2023, you would normally be refused if you had received:

  • A custodial sentence of at least 4 years;
  • A custodial sentence of at least 12 months but less than 4 years unless a period of 15 years has passed since the end of the sentence;
  • A custodial sentence of less than 12 months, unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence; or
  • A non-custodial sentence or out-of-court disposal that is recorded on your criminal record, which occurred in the 3 years prior to the date of application.

However, for applications made from 31 July 2023, you will normally be refused if you:

  • Have a custodial sentence of at least 12 months in the UK or overseas;
  • Have consecutive sentences totalling at least 12 months in the UK or overseas;
  • Are a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law;
  • Have committed an offence which has caused serious harm; or
  • Have committed a sexual offence or your details are recorded by the police on a register. 

This change means that it will now be harder for certain applicants to qualify for British citizenship.

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