Children Denied UK Visas Based on Judgements of 'Good Character'

14 Jul 2019 | Posted by Carl Thomas

As committees continue to raise concerns about the nature of immigration in the UK, and the changes to the UK work permit following Brexit, new scandals have emerged around the UK visa. Recently, children as young as 10 years of age have had their request for indefinite leave to remain in the UK rejected. According to studies, some of the rejected children have spent their whole lives in the UK but were unable to achieve UK visas based on official judgements of their excellent character.

Parliamentary committees have said that the Home Office has been particularly heavy-handed when applying the tests required to determine if the children should have the right to remain in the UK. Generally, judgements of good character are only used for foreign nationals coming into the country from outside of the UK. According to ministers, the tests are also intended to exclude immigrants that have been guilty of heinous crimes in the past.

However, a report released in April 2019 on UK visas found that 28 applicants between the ages of 10 and 17 were denied their request for British Naturalisation based on the grounds of "Good Character."

In approximately 16 of the cases mentioned, the people had been cautioned by the police in the past, but they had not been convicted of a crime. The Human Rights Committee in Parliament has expressed concerns about the way that the Home Office applies their tests regarding "good character" on children with foreign nationalities.

Following the results of the recent report, the Human Rights Committee has asked the government to act quickly to make sure that the process is as fair as possible. Additionally, a cross-party committee of MPs has suggested that it was inappropriate for minor offences or cautions to mean that children who have spent their lives in the UK up to now could not achieve UK visas.