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UK makes citizenship tougher for those with a criminal record

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman announced on Monday her intention to establish a more stringent criterion to prevent “serious criminals” from attaining British citizenship.

“British citizenship is a privilege. Those who engage in criminal activities or demonstrate disregard for our liberties and entitlements should not be eligible for it. I am implementing a more rigorous threshold, effective immediately, to bar serious criminals from seeking citizenship within our borders,” the minister said on Twitter.

— SuellaBraverman (@SuellaBraverman)

The updated guidelines lay down stricter and more precise criteria for meeting the “good character” prerequisites, a pivotal stipulation for obtaining British citizenship. These criteria scrutinize an individual’s adherence to UK laws, along with their respect for the rights and freedoms of British citizens. The criteria encompass aspects such as criminal convictions, immigration-related transgressions, and grave misconduct such as acts of war, terrorism, or genocide, as delineated in the official statement released by the UK government.

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The amendments eliminate the previous provisions that facilitated the possibility of British citizenship for certain criminals once a designated period of time had elapsed following the conclusion of their sentence, irrespective of the nature of the offense or its location.There will be specific exemptions to these revised regulations, subject to case-by-case evaluation. Instances warranting exceptions may involve individuals with extenuating circumstances that support a discretionary grant. Such cases could include individuals who committed minor infractions long ago but have since demonstrated substantial, positive changes that now reflect their good character, as outlined in the government statement.