Good character requirement: nationality

“The good character requirement previously only existed for naturalisation as a British citizen. It was subsequently introduced by section 58 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 as a requirement for specific routes to registration as a British citizen. Section 47 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 inserted section 41A into the British Nationality Act 1981 (‘the BNA 1981’) on 13 January 2010, extending the good character requirement to other registration routes including to a person registering as a British Overseas Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen or British Subject.”

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 02 October 2020)

Factors to consider

A person will not normally be of good character if there is information to suggest that any of the following apply:

  • Criminality“If they have not respected or are not prepared to abide by the law – for example, they have been convicted of a crime or there are reasonable grounds to suspect, meaning it is more likely than not, they have been involved in crime.”
  • International crimes, terrorism and other non-conducive activity – “If they have been involved in or associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism, or other actions that are considered not to be conducive to the public good.”
  • Financial soundness“If their financial affairs have not been in appropriate order – for example, they have failed to pay taxes for which they were liable or have accrued significant debt.”
  • Notoriety“If their activities have been notorious and cast serious doubt on their standing in the local community.”
  • Deception and dishonesty “If they have been deliberately dishonest or deceptive in their dealings with the UK government, for example they have made false claims in order to obtain benefits.”
  • Immigration-related matters – “If they have breached immigration laws, for example by overstaying, working in breach of conditions or assisting in the evasion of immigration control.”
  • Deprivation If they have previously been deprived of citizenship. This is a non-exhaustive list.”

For more information on Good character requirement: nationality, send an email to or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

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