HC Deb 24 March 1903 vol 120 c55
SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if inquiry is made in the country of origin with regard to the antecedents therein of an alien applicant for letters of naturalisation as a British subject; or what steps are taken to ascertain if the alien's presence in the United Kingdom is not due to a sentence of deportation from his native country for some criminal act; and, further, what is the period of residence in the United Kingdom required before naturalisation, and what fee or evidence of means is necessary.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers Douglas.) In every case of application for a certificate of naturalisation careful inquiry is made by the police as to the character of the applicant and the respectability of the referees whom he is required to produce in support of his application, but inquiry is not made with regard to the applicant's character in the country of origin, unless there is some reason to suspect misconduct before the alien's arrival in this country. Before a certificate is granted, the applicant must show that he has resided in the United Kingdom for five years out of the last eight years. A fee of £5 is required to be paid for a certificate.