Naturalisation. Good character. Criminality. Fines and penalty notices

If you apply to naturalise as a British citizen, you must satisfy the good character requirement. A factor considered when assessing your character is whether you have received fines, penalty charge notices, fixed penalty notices, or other such penalties for traffic offences, environmental and civil violations.

If you have committed such offences and violations, the question is how many, how serious they were, in what period of time, and if the financial penalties imposed have been paid straight away, or successfully or unsuccessfully challenged in court.

In all cases, you must declare in your application for citizenship these fines and penalty notices received within the last 3 years. You may not satisfy the good character requirement if they are too many in a short period of time, and you may have your application refused, but it is still better than making false or misleading statements, in which case you may be using deception, which is an additional ground of refusal.

The Home Office may anyway find out about your fines and penalties from other sources.

A few fines or penalty notices would not damage your character assessment. But the good character requirement may not be satisfied and your application may be refused if you have received multiple fines and penalty notices and if the caseworker concludes that you regularly disobey the law.

If you want to apply for British citizenship or for a British passport and need specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.