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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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Hi- ive been convicted for drink driving more than a year

Customer Question

Hi- i've been convicted for drink driving more than a year ago now and i got a 20 month ban which was reduced to 15 due to the attendance of the drink driving awareness course and a fine.
I am aware that thanks to that i now have a criminal record.
I am a Uk resident and I'm looking to apply to become a citizen and i just been told that the law changed about the time for a criminal conviction and would like to know if thanks to that i am now eligible to qualify for the naturalisation as a british citizen as before the new rules i could not apply as i believe it took 4/ 5 years for a criminal offence relating drink driving to be spent.
Reading about it it says that a driving disqualification is spend at the end of it and a fine imposed by the court is spent after 1 year.
So can you please tell me if now with this new changes can i apply with no problems in relation with criminal convictions ( drink driving disqualification and the fine is the only offence i've committed ever )… for naturalisation as a british citizen?, or does this not apply for visas and immigration rules, i will appreciate your response, many thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

Please refer to the following governmental guidance on naturalisation and in particular the good character section and conviction table at page 16-17:-

Your offence will be regarded as a non-custodial offence which means that the bottom row of the table governs your position. This means that you will not be able to apply for naturalisation until a period of 3 years have passed since the conviction.

So, you should note the date of the conviction then count three years forward and that date is the date on which you can apply for naturalisation provided that there are no aggravating factors impacting upon your good character assessment.

I am sorry that it is not a bit sooner, but unfortunately the rules were changed on 13 December 2013.

If this is the only criminal incident and you are otherwise of good character you should be fine to apply once the three years have passed.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,