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Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

A section for posts relating to applications for Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen. Naturalisation

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Anna August
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Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Anna August » Thu May 03, 2018 11:07 am

Dear All,

Thank you in advance for replying to my plea for help.
I am a Polish citizen who has lived here for well over 15 years. I applied to be naturalised a few months ago and was refused as ‘the good character requirement was not satisfied and there were no satisfactory mitigating circumstances’ according to the Home Office. Their decision was based on my tv licence conviction from 2 years ago, otherwise I consider myself of good character, no other fees, fines... anything really.

The background to this situation was that I was 8 moths pregnant, invited ‘goon’ home who then told me I needed tv licence. Bought on the spot, yet got called to court, nevertheless. This was very stressful to Me at the time and so decided to just plead guilty to avoid going there, being so heavily pregnant.

To summarise, I knew I took a risk but was positive that they would see that apart form this one mistake on my part, I was of good character. This is non recordable offence and so I wasn’t even sure I was supposed to disclose it. It does not appear on one’s crb check.

I am so gutted about this and threw the whole thing deep in a drawer but wondering if I have ground for successful appeal at all. It simply puzzles me that I would be treated so harshly. The punishement so
To speak is so disproportionate to the ‘crime’!

If you all advise me to appeal, what angle should I take.

Many thanks to you all for taking time to read this.

Anna

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by CR001 » Thu May 03, 2018 11:11 am

There is no 'appeal' process for refused citizenship applications. You only have the option of asking for a reconsideration on form NR and paying the fee of £372. There is no guarantee that you will be successful with a reconsideration request.

Did you not declare this at all on the form??
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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by secret.simon » Thu May 03, 2018 11:14 am

Anna August wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:07 am
The punishement so to speak is so disproportionate to the ‘crime’!
It depends on how you see the issue.

One way to look at it is that you have not been deprived of anything. As you applied for British citizenship, you have PR and the right to reside in the UK permanently. That is unaffected by the refusal of your naturalisation application and you retain the right to reside legally and indefinitely in the UK.

Naturalisation is a privilege and a grant and you need to convince the SSHD/Home Office caseworker that you lived your life in accordance with the law. You pleaded guilty to a crime in court. To a caseworker, that would not look like you kept to the law. Thence the decision.
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

Anna August
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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Anna August » Thu May 03, 2018 11:16 am

All this was disclosed in a lengthy letter with supporting documents, and tha actual tv licence paid on the day. Thanks for your replies. Anna

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Anna August » Thu May 03, 2018 11:21 am

How likely are they to reconsider their decision, in your opinion. Becoming Naturalised is important to me, I know it is a privilege and that is why I am so disappointed that it did not work out. Am I in one basket with drug and sex related offenders when it comes to my conviction for non payment of tv licence?

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by secret.simon » Thu May 03, 2018 11:33 am

Anna August wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:21 am
Am I in one basket with drug and sex related offenders when it comes to my conviction for non payment of tv licence?
Unfortunately, with naturalisation, there aren't many gradations available. You either have it or you don't. And once you have it, it is remarkably hard to withdraw it. So, the Home Office caseworker may decide that it is better to err on the side of caution and not grant it.

A similar approach affects people under the UK Immigration Rules who have at any time amended their tax returns. To the Home Office, it looks like creative accounting and they are refused under the same category as drug criminals and terrorists.

Like Caeser's wife, all naturalisation applicants must be above all suspicion.
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by ouflak1 » Thu May 03, 2018 11:35 am

Anna August wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:21 am
How likely are they to reconsider their decision, in your opinion.
IMO, not very.
Anna August wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:21 am
Becoming Naturalised is important to me, I know it is a privilege and that is why I am so disappointed that it did not work out. Am I in one basket with drug and sex related offenders when it comes to my conviction for non payment of tv licence?
If someone has a drug related conviction in their past or a sex-related conviction, there is a very good chance that they will *never* become a citizen, depending ofcourse on the severity of the offense. The Good Character allows for forgiveness of some things, but not everything. It's more accurate to say you are in a basket in with those who failed to discose a poice caution from 2 years earlier or overstayed a student visa before getting married and getting spouse visa.

It's also important to keep in mind the UK government can decide to bestow citizenship however they wish, by whatever means they wish. They can also deny it for whatever reason they like (however menial or arcane) or no reason at all. Indeed that is a right of any sovereign nation.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by ouflak1 » Thu May 03, 2018 11:44 am

Anna August wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:21 am
Am I in one basket with drug and sex related offenders when it comes to my conviction for non payment of tv licence?
Likewise keep in mind that while such an offense might be minor to you, for the British, the BBC is an intrisic and important part of the culture. Not paying a TV license could be interpretated as not understanding or accepting that keystone of British culture, no matter what the actual reason may be.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by muraenidae » Thu May 03, 2018 11:55 am

secret.simon wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:33 am
A similar approach affects people under the UK Immigration Rules who have at any time amended their tax returns. To the Home Office, it looks like creative accounting and they are refused under the same category as drug criminals and terrorists.
Huh? What's this about "at any time amended their tax returns"? What do you mean?

Are you using "amended" as a euphemism for, "have been caught cheating at"?
Last edited by muraenidae on Thu May 03, 2018 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by muraenidae » Thu May 03, 2018 11:58 am

secret.simon wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:33 am
A similar approach affects people under the UK Immigration Rules who have at any time amended their tax returns. To the Home Office, it looks like creative accounting and they are refused under the same category as drug criminals and terrorists.
Huh? What's this about "at any time amended their tax returns"? What do you mean?

Are you using "amended" as a euphemism for, "have been caught cheating at"?

Anna August
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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Anna August » Thu May 03, 2018 11:59 am

Is it not worth convincing them that it was one minor offence done by a person of otherwise good character and their decision not to grant might be disproportionate? Thank you for your insights. A

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by ouflak1 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:06 pm

Anna August wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:59 am
Is it not worth convincing them that it was one minor offence done by a person of otherwise good character and their decision not to grant might be disproportionate? Thank you for your insights. A
Again, it might be 'minor' to you, but to the British, the BBC is an institution. It is not 'minor' to them. Also again, it is entirely within the sovereign provence of the United Kingdom (or any nation) to be as disproportionate as they like. If the UK decides that from tomorrow citizenship can only be acquired if it bestowed by the Queen, so be it. Their citizenship, their rules.

I know it's disappointing, but we'd hate to see you waste your money and get your hopes up.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by secret.simon » Thu May 03, 2018 12:20 pm

muraenidae wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:58 am
Huh? What's this about "at any time amended their tax returns"? What do you mean?
Highly skilled South Asian migrants say they are UK’s new Windrush scandal
muraenidae wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:58 am
Are you using "amended" as a euphemism for, "have been caught cheating at"?
I didn't say that.
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

Anna August
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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Anna August » Thu May 03, 2018 3:33 pm

Thanks for your advice.

I think I will wait till 2021 when they said I could potentially apply again without a complete spirit crushing failure. So that would be 5 years after my tv conviction. Do you think, provided there is no more issues on my part, they would disregard this tv thing or will it keep on affecting my ‘good character requirement’?

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by vinny » Fri May 04, 2018 1:47 am

This is not intended to be legal or professional advice in any jurisdiction. Please click on any given links for further information. Refer to the source of any quotes.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by secret.simon » Sun May 06, 2018 10:09 pm

muraenidae wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:55 am
secret.simon wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:33 am
A similar approach affects people under the UK Immigration Rules who have at any time amended their tax returns. To the Home Office, it looks like creative accounting and they are refused under the same category as drug criminals and terrorists.
Huh? What's this about "at any time amended their tax returns"? What do you mean?

Are you using "amended" as a euphemism for, "have been caught cheating at"?
At least 1,000 highly skilled migrants wrongly face deportation, experts reveal
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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by thsths » Mon May 07, 2018 8:28 am

ouflak1 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:35 am
It's also important to keep in mind the UK government can decide to bestow citizenship however they wish, by whatever means they wish. They can also deny it for whatever reason they like (however menial or arcane) or no reason at all. Indeed that is a right of any sovereign nation.
No, I disagree on this one. Pretty much any western democracy recognises both the private and the public value of citizenship. It is an important aspect of integration. You can make it easy, you can make it hard, that is a policy choice, but it needs to be fair.

But if the government (not parliament!) has the right to refuse civil liberties without reason and without legal recourse, then we are approaching the territory of a totalitarian state. Disproportional (sometimes discriminatory, sometimes indiscriminate) punishment is a typical sign of a totalitarian system. The OP said so, and I do agree.

As for the appeal, it would be worthwhile considering it. It is expensive, lengthy, and uncertain in outcome, but still cheaper than another application. Under the current rules, another application would be successful in 10 years, I believe, but there is no guarantees that these rules will still be the same in 10 years.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Hstepper07 » Mon May 07, 2018 3:09 pm

thsths wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 8:28 am
ouflak1 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:35 am
It's also important to keep in mind the UK government can decide to bestow citizenship however they wish, by whatever means they wish. They can also deny it for whatever reason they like (however menial or arcane) or no reason at all. Indeed that is a right of any sovereign nation.
No, I disagree on this one. Pretty much any western democracy recognises both the private and the public value of citizenship. It is an important aspect of integration. You can make it easy, you can make it hard, that is a policy choice, but it needs to be fair.

But if the government (not parliament!) has the right to refuse civil liberties without reason and without legal recourse, then we are approaching the territory of a totalitarian state. Disproportional (sometimes discriminatory, sometimes indiscriminate) punishment is a typical sign of a totalitarian system. The OP said so, and I do agree.

As for the appeal, it would be worthwhile considering it. It is expensive, lengthy, and uncertain in outcome, but still cheaper than another application. Under the current rules, another application would be successful in 10 years, I believe, but there is no guarantees that these rules will still be the same in 10 years.
I agree. If this non custodial conviction is spent and OP does not have further issues with good character, I do not think the decision is proportionate. See HO guide
3.8 Considering Cumulative, Non-Custodial Sentences
Decision makers may still refuse an application where a person’s record shows a
‘non-custodial offence or other out of court disposal’ older than 3 years, if the
circumstances of the conviction or disposal call the person’s character into question.
The factors the decision maker should consider include, but are not restricted to:
(a) The number of non-custodial sentences or other out of court disposals on
the applicant’s record. There is no set number of non-custodial sentences or disposals
that would lead to an application being refused. However, the higher the number the more
likely it is the application will be refused.
(b) The period over which offences were committed or other disposals occurred.
Decision makers should consider whether the offences or other disposals indicate a
pattern of behaviour that could justify a refusal. For example, a series of minor offences or
disposals may indicate sustained anti- social behaviour or disregard for the law which will
be relevant to the assessment of the person’s character.
(c) The nature of the offences or the behaviour that led to other disposals.
Decision makers should look at the nature of the offences involved, or the behaviour that
led to an out of court disposal. For example behaviour involving anti-social behaviour, drug
use, or violence may well indicate that a person’s character is such that their application
should be refused (particularly if there is a pattern of such behaviour). In contrast isolated
minor incidents such as traffic violations will not normally in themselves indicate that a
person is of bad character. However, each application must be considered individually.
(d) Any other historical or recent convictions. Decision-makers should bear in mind
that their task is to make an overall assessment of a person’s character, so older non-
custodial sentences or out of court disposals may be relevant if
there are other more serious convictions. Decision makers should look to see if the older
non-custodial sentences or out of court disposals are relevant to their assessment of a
person’s character when looked at alongside other more serious or recent convictions or
out of court of disposals.
(e) Other factors. Decision makers should take into account any other factors that are
relevant to a person’s character, such as the particular circumstances in someone’s life
when they received the non-custodial sentence or the other out of court disposal occurred
or positive evidence of their good character despite their record.
(f) Age. Decision makers should take into account a person’s age at the time older
non-custodial sentences were imposed or other out of court disposals took place. Isolated
youthful indiscretions will not generally indicate a person is of bad character if that
individual has clearly been of good character since that time.
At all times decision makers should remember that each case will depend on its individual
circumstances and must be determined on its own merits.
Source: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sourc ... 9SDlqv-E5H

See this judgement for speeding conviction that was not spent
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2014/254.html

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by ouflak1 » Mon May 07, 2018 7:40 pm

thsths wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 8:28 am
ouflak1 wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:35 am
It's also important to keep in mind the UK government can decide to bestow citizenship however they wish, by whatever means they wish. They can also deny it for whatever reason they like (however menial or arcane) or no reason at all. Indeed that is a right of any sovereign nation.
No, I disagree on this one. Pretty much any western democracy recognises both the private and the public value of citizenship. It is an important aspect of integration. You can make it easy, you can make it hard, that is a policy choice, but it needs to be fair.
Not it doesn't. It is strictly in the provence of the nation in question based on whatever criteria, biases, and prejudices they see fit and it does not need to be fair in any way, shape or form, nor does their process even need to pretend to be.
thsths wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 8:28 am
But if the government (not parliament!) has the right to refuse civil liberties without reason and without legal recourse
Citizenship is not a 'liberty' nor is citizenship is not a 'right' (unless the nation itself deems it such by its own internal rules). Denying citizenship is not punishment. Citizenship is a special relationship with a government and its respective culture. That government defines it and that that government confers it. The UK considers it a privilege as they should. And when they say no, No means No.
thsths wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 8:28 am
As for the appeal, it would be worthwhile considering it. It is expensive, lengthy, and uncertain in outcome, but still cheaper than another application.
Sure if they've got money to burn and the emotions to invest in what will almost certainly be a doomed effort. But one doesn't get a discount on a second application just because one had a failed reconsideration on the previous application. By my math, that is only going to cost more.
Hstepper07 wrote:If this non custodial conviction is spent and OP does not have further issues with good character, I do not think the decision is proportionate.
Again, those of us who are not born here are very likely applying our own viewpoints. To me, the TV license seemed barely more than a non-sensical money-grab by the government when I first encountered it. I couldn't believe the ridiculous extremes the government went to enforce its collection, which really isn't even that much money when you think about. Obviously time spent living here over the years absorbing the culture has given me new perspective. Coming from outside, I see how much the BBC is a fundamental part of the culture and life of the people here, even those who ridicule it and think the TV license is a joke. For you the decision is 'disproportionate', but to the British it might be considered a slap in face.

If the OP really wants to go for reconsideration, I would definitely avoid trivializing the offense. That will only risk insulting them and quickly sealing the fate of the request, that's already likely sealed anyway, with permanent cement.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Hstepper07 » Mon May 07, 2018 10:24 pm

A conviction is a conviction and it will be silly for the OP to be asking for reconsideration and be trivializing the offence. One would expect that the OP should request for her mitigation to be reconsidered. Agree that she regrets her actions, show genuine remorse and stress that they should not use this one action to tarnish her otherwise good character.

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Anna August » Wed May 09, 2018 12:38 pm

Dear All,

THank you for your insights. At he time of my application, I indeed trivialised the whole ‘tv licence’ conviction. It seemed to me as an unpaid bill! Little did I know. Still am in two minds about re consideration plea to the HO because I truly am of a good character. This, being the only thing casting a shadow on my character. The conviction only happened around 2 years ago so I guess it is not spent yet... will have another think about it. Would it help to get character reference from professionals who know you well? Thank you all, wish I looked up this sight earlier...

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by silverchloride » Wed May 09, 2018 1:42 pm

Anna August wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Dear All,

THank you for your insights. At he time of my application, I indeed trivialised the whole ‘tv licence’ conviction. It seemed to me as an unpaid bill! Little did I know. Still am in two minds about re consideration plea to the HO because I truly am of a good character. This, being the only thing casting a shadow on my character. The conviction only happened around 2 years ago so I guess it is not spent yet... will have another think about it. Would it help to get character reference from professionals who know you well? Thank you all, wish I looked up this sight earlier...
Wish you the best of luck - I know it must be an absolute nightmare. Just sharing my advice (feel free to disregard): It might be worth just applying for reconsideration. Include some cover letters and I dont know if you know any high stature people within the community who can testify of your 'good character' and contributions to the British Society or the community, something of that sort... Or if you have any achievements and specific examples of contributions you've made to the country - not sure how useful or relevant it might be, but worth a try?

Otherwise, as most other members have suggested, it is a reasonable refusal (slightly harsh) but that is very much down to luck. There have been some people here who have recieved questionnaires to provide more information/justification on certain things while others have been outrightly rejected. So it depends on the caseworker. However, I do think that overturning a decision will be quite hard as well, since they will try to stick to the legislation and guidelines....

Anna August
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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Anna August » Wed May 09, 2018 1:50 pm

Thank you so much. Will give it another few days before deciding. I know it will be probably impossible but what if it is, as you say, down to luck?

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by Hassan7861 » Thu May 10, 2018 2:52 pm

Can a person go for a judical review if his BC and reconsidration is refused and he thinks he have a genuine case....???? Asking for a friend

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Re: Citizenship refusal due to tv licence conviction

Post by CR001 » Thu May 10, 2018 2:53 pm

Hassan7861 wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 2:52 pm
Can a person go for a judical review if his BC and reconsidration is refused and he thinks he have a genuine case....???? Asking for a friend
Kindly start your own topic with your 'friends' circumstances/refusal etc instead of tagging onto another members topic.
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