The High Court has heard this week that the fees to become a UK citizen are “excessively high” and “removes children’s right to UK citizenship”.
In the UK, the fee for a child becoming a UK citizen is £1,012, while the fee for adults is £1,206 – both figures have increased by over £35 since April 2018.
The UK High Court has heard an argument from the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) that the registration fee for children to become British citizens is unlawfully high. Each application costs the Home Office £372, while applicants are charged a considerably higher fee of £1,012.
The charity bringing the case has said that many children who have been born in the UK and have lived here for the first ten years of their life have been prevented from applying because of the ‘exorbitant’ cost, despite being eligible.
The case, supported by Amnesty International, was brought on behalf of two individuals but it is thought it could impact thousands. The case is seeking the removal of the profit element of the fee, so that the fee is lowered to no more than administrative cost to the Home Office, and that a fee waiver also be made available for those who cannot afford it.
Becoming a UK Citizen is no easy task – for children, the application form is 31 pages, part of which requires being able to meet requirements including passing a ‘Good Character’ assessment.