The Court of Appeal (COA) has ruled that the £1012 fee that the Home Office charges for children to register as a British citizen is unlawful.
The case was brought by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC), who emphasised that the current fee poses an unjust barrier to many children who meet the eligibility criteria for citizenship but cannot afford to pay the application costs.
The Home Office quotes that its fee for ‘Nationality registration as a British citizen – child’ is £1012, however this does not include the £19.20 biometric enrolment fee which is automatically added to the application cost, nor does it include the UKVCAS fee for booking and attending the biometric appointment, which can cost up to an additional £200. These appointments were once free between normal working hours; however, the Home Office now charges for its appointments throughout the day. Oftentimes if appointments are unavailable in an Applicant’s own city, they are burdened with the additional expense of travelling to appointment centres much further away.
The PRCBC highlighted that the current administrative cost for the Home Office to process a child’s citizenship application is only £372, meaning that the Home Office is making a profit of almost £700 per application, which it claims is used to subsidise and offset costs in other areas of the immigration system.
The COA’s ruling comes as positive news, as it will hopefully result in an imminent reduction in the Home Office’s fees for children’s nationality applications, and so giving them fairer access to their citizenship rights.
How we can help
If you have any further queries about registering a child as a British citizen or are considering applying and would like any formal advice and support with making your application, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to assist.
We can be reached either by telephone on 020 7499 0620 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.