Do I need to declare my caution(s) when making an application for British citizenship?

Do I need to declare my conviction(s) when making an application for British citizenship?

Do I need to declare military convictions when making an application for British citizenship?

I have an overseas conviction. Do I need to declare this when making an application for British citizenship?

I have a criminal record. Does this mean I will not be granted British citizenship?

Where can I get further advice on applying for British citizenship?

Do I need to declare my caution(s) when making an application for British citizenship?

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.

Do I need to declare my conviction(s) when making an application for British citizenship?

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.

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.

Do I need to declare military convictions when making an application for British citizenship?

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.

Do I need to declare pending prosecutions when making an application for British citizenship?

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.

I have an overseas conviction. Do I need to declare this when making an application for British citizenship?

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.

I have a criminal record. Does this mean I will not be granted British 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:

Sentence/disposalApplication will be refused until:
Sentence/disposalApplication will be refused until:
Prison sentence between 12 months and 4 years15 years from the end of your full sentence (including time on licence)
Prison sentence up to 12 months10 years from the end of your full sentence (including time on licence)
Non-custodial sentence+3 years from the date of conviction
Caution3 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 have 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).

Where can I get further advice on applying for British citizenship?

If you are not sure what you need to disclose when applying for British citizenship, you can contact Nacro’s Resettlement Advice 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.