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Paul Richmond
Paul Richmond, Barrister
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 138
Experience:  LL.B (Hons) (First Class), LL.M (Distinction), Immigration Barrister (12 years)
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I am about applying for british citizenship as i hold an ILR

Resolved Question:

I am about applying for british citizenship as i hold an ILR but i have just been summon to court for using mobile phone whilst driving. I intend to plead guilty and the result will probably be a fine and 3 points on my licence. Will this potential sentence be termed as a criminal conviction, will i have to mention it on my application and if yes how will it affect my application. Please any advice will be appreciated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  Paul Richmond replied 3 years ago.

As soon as you plead guilty to the charge you will have a criminal conviction. When you apply for British citizenship you must declare this criminal conviction. Only road traffic offences dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice (parking and speeding offences) and offences which are "spent" under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 do not have to be declared. It would be a criminal offence for you not to declare the conviction and you could be prosecuted.

 

It is not possible to state precisely how the conviction will affect your application for British citizenship. Home Office policy states as follows "We will normally disregard a single conviction for a minor offence resulting in a bind over, conditional discharge or relatively small fine or compensation order, if a person is suitable for citizenship in all other respects. By "minor offences" we mean speeding or other "regulatory" offences. Offences involving dishonesty (e.g. theft), violence or sexual offences are not classed as minor offences. Drink-driving offences, driving while uninsured or disqualified are not minor offences either." This is a quote from the following document:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/nationality/guide_an.pdf

 

Therefore, if the Home Office treats your conviction for using a mobile phone while driving as akin to speeding you should still be granted citizenship. However, if they consider that it is closer to drink-driving or driving while uninsured then they will refuse to grant you citizenship.

 

The sentence imposed by the court will be an important factor that the Home Office will consider when deciding whether the offence should be treated as a minor offence or not. I would also advise that when you make your application you should include some carefully drafted written representations as to why the offence should be treated as a minor offence akin to speeding in terms of seriousness. You should consider seeking the assistance of a solicitor or specialist immigration barrister to help you with your application.

 

I hope this answers your question. Please kindly click the green ACCEPT button so that I may be compensated for my time. Thank-you.

Paul Richmond, Barrister
Satisfied Customers: 138
Experience: LL.B (Hons) (First Class), LL.M (Distinction), Immigration Barrister (12 years)
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