Applying for citizenship

As part of applying for UK citizenship, there will be a check with Police and other authorities as part of the character check. You need to give details of all criminal convictions (this used to be just unspent convictions, but it now applies to all).

In July 2013, the Home Office published detailed guidance on how UK Visas and Immigration applies the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

In summary, the guidance states that any individual must declare all of their convictions when applying. This includes when applying for:

  • entry clearance
  • leave to enter
  • settlement and nationality

The decision maker is then entitled to rely on information about spent, as well as unspent, convictions when considering an application.

For more information, there is a useful guide (although it doesn’t seem like it’s designed to be an external guide) online.

However, simply because they are entitled to take into account spent convictions, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bar.

For example, when it comes to applying for citizenship, there are guidelines in place for how your application would be treated if you have convictions.

They consider the length of the sentence you were given, and when it was given. A brief table sets this out below.

Nationality Screenshot 2016-07-11 11.34.41