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31 July 2023

Statement: citizenship deprivation + the “good character” requirement

Today, the Home Secretary announced new rules will come into force around deprivation of citizenship based on the “good character” requirement.   

We are shocked at the proposed changes to deny citizenship to anyone that has a criminal sentence of 12 months, which means that many more will be denied their social and political rights. 

We are also very troubled by the Home Secretary’s remark which suggested that access to free healthcare will be linked to citizenship, and we urge the Home Office to provide more details on this aspect. Despite her claims, citizenship is not a privilege, it is a fundamental right because your access to social and many political rights are linked to citizenship.

MRN has seen firsthand the impact “good character” requirements have on migrants. Through our campaigning alongside the Highly Skilled Migrants, we witnessed how being denied indefinite leave to remain and being accused of “not being conducive to public good” due to “tax discrepancies”, left many destitute, without access to public funds or permission to work, and with substantial debt. 

We will continue to challenge the “good character” requirement and demonstrate the negative impact these changes will have. We are committed to challenging these hostile and discriminatory policies, along with the wider impact of the Hostile Environment on migrants’ lives through our lived experience and values-led campaigns.