British Citizenship Refusals and Trends

Another aspect that must be examined closely regarding British citizenship application is the refusal percentage rate. For a period of 13 years from 2000-2012, the refusal rate is quite alarming. Each year the percentage increases. The highest refusal rate peaked in 2005 with the percentage of 10.29%. Although from 2009 to 2012 the refusal rate has been declining, there is still a huge possibility that there will be an increase in refusals in the following years. There are different factors why refusal rate has been increasing over the years.

It must be noted that for Naturalization there are three routes for applicants to be granted with citizenship. Those are Naturalization based on residency, Naturalization based on marriage and naturalization based on registration of minors. Out of these three routes, Naturalization based on marriage has the highest decline rate. This reason could be attributed to the reason why refusal rate is steadily increasing over the years. There are number of applicants who apply for naturalization using the residency reason who are declined because they were not able to meet the number of years that they should be staying in the United Kingdom.

Another requirement for British citizenship application approval is to have sufficient knowledge of life in the United Kingdom. This is measured by having the applicant take the “Life in the UK Test”. It has been known that applicants repeatedly fail this test thus resulting for the refusal of the application. The requirement where in the applicant must have a “good moral character” is another factor why British citizenship applicants are refused. This requirement is quite complicated because the applicant’s background will be thoroughly checked. To understand how “good moral character” is evaluated please do take note of the procedures.

These requirements for “good moral character” are discussed further at the website

Note: The requirement of having a “good moral character” will not be considered unless any of the following conditions exist:

  • The application is for a 10 year old child.

  • The applicant is stateless and is applying on application form S1, S2 or S3.

  • The applicant is a British citizen residing overseas, a British Subject or British protected person and is applying on an application form B(OS).

But if none of these conditions exist, all applicants are subject to a background check.

  • The applicant is considered to be of good moral character when he/she shows respect for the rights and freedom of United Kingdom, observed the laws and fulfilled duties and obligation during his/her residency.

  • Background checks will be conducted with the police and other government departments. Included in the application is where the applicant signs a consent form that such backgrounds checks are to be done to gather information.

  • Applicant’s financial history will also be checked to review if taxes and National Insurance contributions have been dutifully paid.

  • Applicant’s criminal records will also be checked. Criminal incidences occurred inside and outside of United Kingdom must be indicated.

  • Applicant should also not be involved in any terrorism act.

  • If there are instances that the applicant had been involved in any crime, it must be indicated in the application.

According to the website, the reasons for refusals of British citizenship for 2012 are as follows:

  • Not of good moral character

  • Residence

  • Incomplete applications

  • Parent of a non British resident

  • Other

  • Delay in replying to inquiries from UKBA

  • Not enough knowledge of English and KOL

  • Oath not taken in time

According to this date, the criterion “Not of good moral character” tops the list for the refusal of British citizenship with the highest percentage of 37%.

The numbers and figures shown above are not encouraging at all. British citizenship application requires numbers of paper works that can be taxing to complete. Before applying for naturalization, one must thoroughly check his/her requirements. Meeting the requirements takes time and money is invested. With the refusal rate over the years, the applicant must be thoroughly careful to meet the requirements so time and energy spent during the application will not go to waste.