Policy paper

Good character requirement: a Remedial Order

A draft Remedial Order to amend the good character requirement for certain applications for British citizenship and address the incompatibility with the Human Rights Act 1998.

Documents

Incompatibility under the Human Rights Act 1998: a Remedial Order to amend the good character requirement at section 41A(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981

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Incompatibility under the Human Rights Act 1998: a Remedial Order to amend the good character requirement at section 41A(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 (print version)

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Details

On 15 March a Remedial Order under the Human Rights Act 1998 was laid in Parliament to make changes to the British Nationality Act 1981. The Remedial Order will remove the good character requirement for British citizenship in the following applications for registration:

  • section 4F on the basis the person would be entitled to register under section 1(3), 3(2) or 3(5) of the Act
  • sections 3C, 4G, 4H and 4I

These changes are being made to remedy the incompatibility with the ECHR identified by the UK courts in relation to various categories of people who would automatically have become British citizens had their parents been married to one another at the time of their birth.

The good character requirement for the registration routes listed above remains in place until the Remedial Order comes into force.

We expect these changes to come into effect in early 2019, subject to parliamentary scrutiny. We cannot say in advance how long it will take for the process of parliamentary scrutiny to be completed. The precise timing will be published on GOV.UK in due course.

Applications for registration as a British citizen under sections 4C, 4F, 4G, 4H and 4I where the only ground for refusal is where the applicant does not meet the good character requirement, will remain on hold until further notice.

Published 15 March 2018