When applying for British citizenship UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) check many things before deciding whether or not to grant you your British citizenship. One of the things they look at is your ‘good character’, and part of this is your financial history.
Below is an excerpt from the government’s immigration policy:
The decision maker will not normally refuse an application simply because the person is in debt, especially if loan repayments have been made as agreed or if acceptable efforts are being made to pay off accumulated debts. However, where a person deliberately and recklessly builds up debts and there is no evidence of a serious intention to pay them off, the decision maker will normally refuse the application.
- The full document can be found here: Good Character Requirement
As you can see, this shows that the government’s policy on debt and immigration is that if you are in debt and applying for British citizenship, then just being in debt can have a negative effect on your application, however showing that you are making efforts to pay off your debts is beneficial to your ‘good character’. Although, due to the number of factors involved in applying for citizenship, we cannot guarantee that your citizenship will be approved, a debt management plan (DMP) or individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) can help show that you are making efforts to repay your debts.
Bankruptcy and Citizenship
Being made bankrupt is extremely likely to have a negative effect on any citizenship application you may make, it is also likely to stop you acting as a sponsor for someone wishing to enter the UK. So you need to avoid bankruptcy if at all possible.
- Undischarged Bankrupt: Your application is likely to be turned down.
- Discharged Bankrupt: If you have previously been made bankrupt, but have been subsequently discharges, then your application may succeed, but will depend on other factors.
If you are concerned about going bankrupt and how it will affect your application for British citizenship, get independent legal advice as soon as you can.
Debt Help & Advice
If you are planning on applying for British citizenship and are struggling with debt, then why not let our friendly advisers try to help? All of our advice has no charge and there is no obligation to use any of the services we might suggest to you. So what have you got to lose?