On 2 October 2020, the Home Office updated its ‘Good Character’ guidance relating to naturalisation to become British and is aimed at EEA nationals. The changes may have a significant impact to EEA nationals who intend to naturalise, in addition to the changes brought in May this year – those changes required EEA nationals who have obtained settled status to have complied with the EEA Regulations 2006 during the relevant 5 or 3 year qualifying period.
The ‘’October’ changes will apply to EEA nationals aged 10 or over applying to either naturalise or register as British citizens. The Home Office will now assess an applicant’s character for the 10 years prior to the date of application and will look at factors including but not limited to:
For EEA nationals, this will mean the Home Office will assess whether an individual was lawfully here during this period. It could for example mean a caseworker requesting whether an EEA national exercising rights through the EEA Regulations 2016 had an EHIC card issued by their own country or private health insurance.
Furthermore, the Home Office could look at other factors including an applicant’s tax affairs or a claim to public funds were in order.
The consequence of not satisfying either the May or October changes could result in a negative decision and at considerable financial expense given the fees to make an application to naturalise or register as British.
We recommend an EEA national who is considering applying to naturalise as a British citizen either ensure they are compliant with the Good Character requirements or seek advice from an immigration lawyer.
RLegal solicitors is based in central London and we can be contacted on +44 207 038 3980 by completing our online form or sending us an email to email@example.com