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New good character for British nationality

15 January 2013

On 13 December 2012 changes were made to the Nationality Instructions that affect anyone applying for citizenship on or after that date.

The main changes deal with criminality and how it is assessed in terms of the good character requirement in citizenship applications. Some of the main amendments are summarised below:

  • Applications made on or after 13 December 2012 which feature a criminal conviction will no longer be assessed against the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Instead they will be measured against a new set of sentencing limits.
  • Where an application features a sentence of 4 years or more in prison this can never fall outside a sentencing threshold. Such an application for citizenship will likely be refused.
  • Police cautions will be looked at in determining whether someone meets the good character requirement.
  • There will be greater scope to discount some disciplinary military offences when deciding nationality applications from serving and former members of HM Forces.

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Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.