Yes. Applications for British citizenship from those living in England, Wales and Scotland are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA). This means that you must declare all police cautions on your application, even if they are spent.
If you are applying for British citizenship from Northern Ireland, you will not need to declare any convictions which are spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978. For more information on this, please see pages 29-31 of this guide.
Yes. Applications for British citizenship that are made from England, Wales and Scotland are exempt from the ROA. This means that you must declare all convictions on your application, even if they are spent.
Yes. If you have been convicted under court martial or during other military proceedings, you will need to declare this on your application. For further guidance on how such matters are considered by UKVI, please see here.
Yes. The nationality application makes it clear that you must disclose all pending matters. Failure to do so may be seen as an attempt to deceive UKVI.
Yes. Overseas convictions will usually be treated as if they happened in the UK. UKVI will use the sentence that you received as a starting point when deciding whether the conviction will impact on their decision to grant you citizenship.
Not necessarily. You must be considered to be of good character to be granted British citizenship and, as part of this assessment, UKVI will consider your criminal record and whether you abide by the laws of the UK.
You must disclose your full criminal record when applying for British citizenship if you are applying from England, Wales or Scotland. If you have been convicted of an offence and were sentenced to exactly four years’ imprisonment or longer, your application is likely to be refused.
If you were sentenced to anything less than four years, or given a non-custodial sentence, your application is likely to be refused until a certain period has elapsed:
|Application will be refused until:
|Prison sentence between 12 months and 4 years
|15 years from the end of your full sentence (including time on licence)
|Prison sentence up to 12 months
|10 years from the end of your full sentence (including time on licence)
|3 years from the date of conviction
|3 years from the date of caution
+A suspended prison sentence is treated as a non-custodial sentence, unless the prison sentence has been ‘activated’ during the period of suspension.
If you have been convicted and the specified time has elapsed as per the table above, your application may still be refused if:
- You have a pattern of offending
- You’ve been convicted of an offence where serious harm was caused to the victim(s)
- You have been convicted of a sexual offence and are currently under notification requirements and/or subject to a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) and/or a foreign travel order and/or a risk of sexual harm order (RSHO).
If you are not sure what you need to disclose when applying for British citizenship, you can contact Nacro’s Criminal Record Support Service on 0300 123 1999. For help with making your application, you can contact:
For general advice about your application, you can contact the UKVI contact centre on 0300 123 2241.
You can contact us on 0300 123 1999 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm
Friday: 1pm – 5pm
Our advisors can help you with any questions you may have.