The good character requirement in nationality applications has recently been put in the spotlight with Parliament’s Human Rights Committee expressing its 'deep concern' for children who are being denied their right to claim British nationality. We look at the application of the good character requirement to adults applying to naturalise as British citizens and the possible knock-on effect on their children’s applications to register as a British citizen.
As the UK hurtles ever closer to a possible cliff edge and the spectre of ‘no deal’ Brexit looms large in everyone’s minds, it is easy to feel we have no control over the direction we are heading in and the impact that may have on our lives. Those individuals who have obtained the right to live in the UK by virtue of their EU citizenship or their family relationship to an EU citizen can, however, take back control over their immigration status and rest a little easier in the weeks to come about at least one aspect of this quagmire.
With less than four months to go until the UK leaves the European Union (EU), we still don’t know what deal, if any, the UK will have with the EU. A big part of that deal relates to securing the rights of the more than 3 million EEA citizens living in the UK. While the Government has confirmed their intention to roll out the proposed Settled Status scheme regardless as to whether the withdrawal agreement is approved, those seeking greater certainty about their status and who are eligible, are looking to naturalise as British citizens. For some Europeans, the decision to naturalise is a simple one. For others, it may mean giving up their existing nationality.
‘Positive, welcoming, liberal, forward-looking’. This is how Michael Gove summarised the Government’s approach to immigration only this week. Did he not get the Windrush memo? Immigration lawyers, human rights organisations and migrant communities have for years now tried to draw attention to the dangerous impact of the Government’s policy of establishing a ‘hostile environment’. However public discussion of immigration has instead focused on net migration figures and linking immigration to crime and a crisis in public services. There has been publicity about successful appeals against deportation and doubts over the true age of asylum seeking children.