My Job As A Sex Worker and British Naturalisation
October 13, 2013 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I am an American national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK and have been here since 2005. I am registered self employed as a dominatrix - yes they seem to have a category for this at Inland Revenue - and it seems that in order to naturalise as a British citizen, I will need to send the Home Office a statement of accounts with my application! So there's no hiding it (not that I would want to). My question is - will being an out sex worker make them pause at granting me citizenship, because of the good character requirement?
posted by Mistress to Law & Government (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The "good character" requirement usually pertains to criminal convictions; having a police record (contacting the poilce to report problems is not put on your own record, btw). As long as you're registered – which you are! – and paying taxes, you're very likely to be fine.

I found a detailed writeup specifically on the good character requirement, from the UK Border Agency Home Office. The summary is helpful:
The decision maker will not normally consider a person to be of good character if there is information to suggest:
a. They have not respected and/or are not prepared to abide by the law. For example, they have been convicted of a crime or there are reasonable grounds to suspect (i.e. it is more likely than not) they have been involved in crime. For further information on the criminality element, see section 2: Criminal Convictions (General Approach), section 3: Non-Custodial Sentences and Other Out of Court Disposals, and section 4: Other Criminal & Suspected Criminal Activity;
b. They have been involved in or associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism or other actions that are considered not to be conducive to the public good. For further information on this particular element, see section 5: War Crimes, Terrorism and Other Non-Conducive Activity;
c. Their financial affairs were not in appropriate order. For example, they have failed to pay taxes for which they were liable. For further information on the financial aspect, see section 6: Financial Soundness;
d. Their activities were notorious and cast serious doubt on their standing in the local community. For further information on notoriety, see section 7: Notoriety;
e. They had been deliberately dishonest or deceptive in their dealings with the UK Government. For further information on dishonesty and deception, see section 8: Deception & Dishonesty;
f. They have assisted in the evasion of immigration control;
g. They have previously been deprived of citizenship.
For further information on these two points, see section 9: Immigration Related Issues.
This is a non-exhaustive list.
While you might fear "Notoriety" would apply, they're pretty specific about it:
Section 7: Notoriety
7.1 Background
The decision maker should note that the following matters should not normally, of themselves, be relevant to assessing good character:
a. Divorce/separation, or other marital or domestic problems,
b. Promiscuity or sexual preference within the law,
c. Drinking or gambling,
d. Eccentricity, including beliefs, appearance and lifestyle; or
e. Unemployment/working habits/other legitimate means of support.

However, where there is evidence that a person has – by the scale and persistence of their behaviour – made themselves notorious in their local or the wider community, consideration should be given to refusal. In such circumstances, the decision maker may ask for an interview to help substantiate any information received, for example, from members of the public. The decision must be a reasonable one. Therefore, the scale and level of behaviour need to reflect so poorly on a person‟s character that the application should be refused.

The decision maker should take particular care when the person's behaviour may be seen as notorious and so widely known that any decision on the application is likely to attract public attention or press reaction. The anticipated reaction from the public or media should not unduly influence the decision. However, the decision maker should consider the potential impact and discuss this with the Deputy Chief Caseworker in the first instance.
posted by fraula at 10:13 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yeah, they're looking for convicts. The "Notoriety" provision is really so they have the option of denying people who are seeking UK citizenship because they're running from a very public and unpleasant reputation elsewhere. Like, say the drug dealer who has never been convicted but whom everyone knows is a drug dealer. Etc.
posted by valkyryn at 4:50 PM on October 13, 2013

On an unrelated note, perhaps this would be a good time to mention the volunteer soup kitchen you help to run? Or how 10% of your profits go to assist victims of sexual abuse? Fraula's got it for the win, but surely these points (if true and verifiable) are always in your favor.
posted by chrisinseoul at 10:13 AM on October 14, 2013

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