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Good character requirements and criminal convictions.

The good character requirement applies to anybody over the age of ten who applies for naturalization or registration as a British citizen.

To meet the good character requirement you should have shown respect for the freedom and rights of the United Kingdom.

You might not be considered to of good character if you:

  • Have not respected and/or are not prepared to abide by the law.
  • Have been involved or associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism or other actions that are considered not to be beneficial to the good.
  • Have not had your financial affairs in appropriate order, for example, you have failed to pay the taxes for which you were liable.
  • Your activities were notorious and cast distrust on your standing in the local community.
  • Have been deliberately dishonest or deceptive in your dealings with the UK Government.
  • Have been involved in evasion of immigration control.
  • Have been previously deprived of citizenship.

However, having a criminal record does not necessarily mean that your application will be refused.

Do you have a conviction or a sentence? Are you wondering how it might affect your application?

  • If you have been given a sentence of 4 years’ or more of imprisonment – Your application will be normally refused, regardless of when the conviction occurred.
  • If you have been given a sentence between 12 months’ and 4 years’ imprisonment- Your application will normally be refused unless 15 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
  • If you have been given a sentence up to 12 months’ of imprisonment- Your application will normally be refused unless 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
  • If you have been given a non custodial sentence (a fine) – Your application will normally be refused if the conviction occurred in the last three years.
  • Receiving either a Fixed Penalty Notice, Penalty Charges Notice &/or Penalties Notices for Disorder do not form part of a person’s criminal record unless:

-You have failed to pay and there were criminal proceedings as a result.

-You received numerous fixed penalties notices which suggest a pattern of behavior, thus putting into question your character.

Financial Soundness

This area of the application considers whether an applicant’s financial affairs where in appropriate order. The case worker dealing with your application will consider the following when analyzing your financial trustworthiness.

  • Bankruptcy
  • Liquidation
  • Debt
  • Dishonesty in relation to Public Funds
  • Non-payment of Council Tax


An application where the evidence suggests that the parent’s behavior demonstrated that they were not of good character will normally be refused.

This is usually limited to the cases where the parents were complicit in criminal activity or were negligent in the dealings with the authorities.

Deceitful or Dishonest dealings with Her Majesty’s Government

An application will normally be refused if there is evidence pointing to:

  • Dishonest information
  • Defrauding the benefits system
  • False data at earlier stages of immigration process
  • Failure to disclose convictions

Immigration related issues

An application will normally be refused if there is evidence pointing to:

  • Sham Marriages/Civil Partnerships and Marriages/Civil Partnerships of


  • Abuse of the English Language and/or Knowledge of Life Test
  • Prosecution for False Statements
  • False Statements by Referees
  • Illegal Entry
  • Assisting Illegal Migration
  • Evasion of immigration control
  • Hiring Illegal Workers
  • Deprivation of Citizenship

Contact us for more information:

T: 020 3290 0143

E: a.s@master-legal-services.com


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About us

Master Legal Services is a company Registered in England & Wales No.10309474. We are authorised to provide immigration advice and services by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).


7 Bell Yard London,





020 8935 5205