How does a criminal record affect your chances of obtaining settlement or naturalisation?
A criminal record does not necessarily mean that an application for settlement or naturalisation will be refused. However, an applicant who does not show respect or is unwilling to abide by the law is unlikely to be regarded as a person of ‘good character.’
Can the Home Office refuse my application for settlement or naturalisation due to my criminal record?
The Home Office will normally refuse an application as a result of the following reasons:
- You have a criminal conviction that falls under the sentence-based thresholds;
- You are a persistent offender;
- The offence committed caused serious harm; or
- The offence committed was a sexual offence or the applicant’s details are recorded by the police on a register.
Should I disclose my criminal record?
There is a requirement to disclose any criminal conviction or pending criminal prosecution. A failure to do so could impact whether you meet the ‘good character’ requirement. If an applicant does not disclose accurate information of criminal background, declare a conviction or any pending prosecution there is a chance of the application being refused. This is not only due to the nature of the conviction but also on the basis of deception and failing to disclose the conviction.
Are there certain convictions that can prevent you from gaining settlement or naturalisation status?
A criminal conviction is relevant to the assessment of a ‘good character’ in the following circumstances:
- Your criminal conviction is within the sentence-based thresholds;
- You committed an offence that caused serious harm;
- You are a repeat offender; or
- You committed a sexual offence or the applicant’s detail are recorded by the police on a register.
An application for settlement or naturalisation will be refused in the following circumstances:
- You received a custodial sentence of at least 4 years;
- You received a custodial sentence of at least 12 months but less than 4 years unless a period of 15 years has passed since the end of the sentence;
- You received a custodial sentence of 12 months or less (unless in the case where a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence); or
- You received a non-custodial sentence or out-of-court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record which occurred in the 3 years prior to the date of application.
A criminal conviction itself will not prevent an applicant from obtaining settlement or naturalisation.
How NA Law Solicitors can help?
Our team of expert solicitors are here to advise you on the implications of a criminal record. Contact us today to receive our support and guidance.