New laws are scheduled to go into effect to prohibit serious criminals from obtaining British citizenship.
Changes to the “good character” criteria for citizenship applications take into effect on Monday, with stricter limits imposed on anyone who has served a 12-month prison sentence.
Currently, attempts to obtain British citizenship are typically denied if an individual has served a four-year prison sentence.
Previously, anyone who had served between 12 months and four years in prison was likely to have their application denied until 15 years had gone since the completion of their term.
Anyone who had spent less than a year in prison faced having their application denied until 10 years had elapsed.
The modifications bring the system in line with immigration regulations, with new guidelines aiming to be “stricter” and “more specific” on so-called “good character” standards.
According to the Home Office, the amendments will eliminate prior restrictions that allowed some criminals to be given citizenship after a specific number of years.
“British citizenship is a privilege,” said Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
“Those who commit crimes shouldn’t be able to enjoy the breadth of rights citizenship brings, including holding a British passport, voting and accessing free medical care from the NHS.
“I am cracking down on abuse of the UK’s immigration and nationality system, by introducing a tougher threshold so that serious criminals cannot gain British citizenship.
“This is the fair and right thing to do for our country.”
There will be exceptions to the new regulations, and the Home Office stated that certain people may be able to demonstrate extenuating circumstances that would justify a citizenship application.