As per the updated FAQ (click)
regarding the Good Character requirement (click)
, we have seen a number of refusals relating to a period where the applicant was in the UK illegally and this has attracted a 10 year ban from applying for citizenship from the period in which the applicant became known to the Home Office.
However, recent amendments to the residence guidance (click)
suggests that the changes of the Good Character requirements are not meant to target Refugee's.
I have created the following letter
which may be used by those who are refused due to a period of being in the UK unlawfully. This is generally aimed at those who were in the UK unlawfully at a time when they had or were about to make an Asylum claim and were subsequently granted Refugee Status. The below letter is just an example and should be modified for your particular case.
Complete form NR - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... orm-nr.pdf
Add the following:
Dear Sir or Madam,
RE: Your details; name, address, DOB and Home Office ref.
I am requesting a reconsideration of the naturalisation decision dated xx/yy/zzzz. The reason I request this reconsideration is because I believe that my case has not been considered sufficiently.
My recent application for naturilisation was refused due to the period I was in the United Kingdom without leave to remain. It was suggested that this period without lawful residence cast doubt on my character. As you are aware, the Secretary of State has the discretion to grant citizenship where s(he) is satisfied that, inter alia, the applicant is of Good Character. The recent amendments (December 2014) to Annex D: the good character requirement guidance, stipulates that where the applicant entered the UK illegally the application should normally be refused for a 10 year period from the date in which the applicant came to the attention of the Home Office. I have highlighted the word normally, which indicates there is discretion to allow such applications before a 10 year period has lapsed.
I entered the UK as a clandestine in December 2007, at the time I was a child. I was soon in contact with Child Social Services at the local authority and I came to the attention of the Home Office in February 2008. An asylum application was submitted and I was granted Refugee Status in 2008, whilst I was still a child. I was subsequently granted settled status (ILR) in 2013. In order for you to consider whether the period I was in the UK illegally should be a reason for refusal, I would like to draw your attention to Annex B to Chapter 18, specifically paragraphs 8.8 – 8.11.
You should normally exercise discretion to disregard a breach of the immigration laws (i.e. a period of unlawful residence) where there are reasons which were clearly outside of my control. As per paragraph 8.10 an example is that the breach occurred at a time when the applicant was a minor, which was the circumstance in my case. I wish to highlight that I was a child until after my immigration application was granted. Moreover, another example, in the same paragraph is where the applicant entered as a clandestine and came to the attention of the Home Office shortly after arrival, this is usually within one month, however, considering I was a child, a two month period should be considered shortly. In addition, as per paragraph 8.11, discretion should be limited to cases where the breach of immigration law was not substantial or deliberate. In my case, the breach was not deliberate, I was a minor, facing persecution, and I had little option but to come to the UK as to avoid inhumane treatment. The breach should not be considered substantial as I came to the attention of the Home Office shortly after my arrival. After my stay was regularised, there were no further breaches and no other issue relating to my character.
Finally, I wish to highlight Section 31 of the immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and Article 31 of the Refugee Convention which states that Contracting States (such as the UK) should not impose penalties on account of illegal entry or presence in the UK. Moreover, under Article 34 of the Refugee Convention the UK is obliged to facilitate the naturalisation of refugees, this includes expedition of proceedings. A 10 year ban appears to be contrary to both Articles of the Refugee Convention and Section 31 of the immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
To summate, I have given clear reasons, with reference to your own guidance which illustrates that the short period I was in the UK illegally should be disregarded and that you should use your discretion and grant my application for citizenship. Not to do so will be ultra vires and I will have little option but to seek Judicial Review of the decision.