When applying to register as a British citizen, adults and children over the age of ten or over must meet the guidelines known as ‘the good character’ requirement. So, what does good character mean. There's no definition from the home office it's mainly the practical way of being good in terms of your character and not bad, due to this each case is individually accessed.

The main points to concentrate on when it comes to good character measure are as followed:

  • Criminality;
  • International crimes, terrorism and other non-conducive activity;
  • Financial soundness;
  • Notoriety;
  • Immigration-related matters;
  • Deception or dishonesty;

The: Home Office, Nationality: good character requirement, Version 1 published on 14 January 2019 provides instructions to caseworkers as to the application of the requirement.

There are many immigration-related issues that need to be considered when completing an application. If the applicant does not meet these guidelines the applicant may be refused.

If an applicant is refused this may be due to these circumstances in the ten years leading up to the application being made, the applicant:

  • entered or attempted to enter into a sham marriage or civil partnership, or a marriage or civil partnership of convenience;
  • abused the English language or Knowledge of Life in the UK test requirement;
  • knowingly or recklessly made a false statement in an application;
  • was involved in deception as a referee;
  • did not comply with the conditions of their leave;
    overstayed;
  • entered the UK illegally; or
  • evaded immigration control.

When applying applicants should read these guidelines to ensure they will successfully complete the application form and provide relevant documentation to prove that they have met the requirements outlined.

Applicants have to be truthful as any deception may result in refusal it is therefore vital that the information submitted is accurate. If deception is used for which an application is not likely to be successful.

Making false statement can result in a refusal which mean an individual is liable to prosecution. This also applies where a false statement has been made by a referee. An application can be refused, if the decision-maker considers the individual has been truthful.

There are circumstances where an individual may have “mitigating circumstances” which will be reviewed by a caseworker. A good example would be if a person’s criminal conviction is for an offence which is not recognised in the UK, for example homosexuality or membership of a trade union.

Finally, consideration must be given by caseworkers to all aspects of your character when assessing the good character requirement. All factors must be taken into account weather they are positive or negative.

The ‘good character requirement’ guidance is as it says just a guide, this means that when possible, using the correct advice and direction you'll be able to put forward arguments to rebut the presumption of refusal.

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