Case study – Hilario – Being clear on disclosure rules allowed me to get settled status in the UK

Hilario contacted our helpline looking for some information and advice in relation to his application for settled status.

He explained that the question on the application form asked:

“Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence”

Hilario stated that he had a conviction from 5 years ago which was now spent but he wanted to know whether the disclosure of this would affect his chances of getting settled status in the UK.

The helpline advisor explained that whilst Unlock could not provide immigration advice, we were able to clarify what Hilario needed to disclose to the Home Office.

Although the question asked for the disclosure of all convictions, guidance from the Home Office made it clear that applicants did not need to disclose convictions which were spent. The Home Office would do a check of the Police National Computer (PNC) but would then disregard any convictions which were spent. The advisor confirmed to Hilario that he did not need to disclose anything on the application form.

One month later Hilario contacted Unlock again:

“I took your advice and answered ‘No’ to the question about criminal records and I’ve just been told that my application for settled status has been approved.


The application process for settled status has now closed and we understand that the majority of applicants with a conviction did not find their criminal record a barrier. As soon as Unlock became aware of the need for EU nationals to apply for settled status we produced clear guidance to ensure that applicants did not over or under disclose their criminal record.

Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Published September 2021.

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