UK Govt’s £1K fee to register children citizens unlawful

31st Jan 2020

Nadine Osman

A Government decision to charge £1,012 to register children as UK citizens was “unlawful”, the High Court ruled last month.

The fee applies to children born outside the UK, and those born in the UK before their parents were granted citizenship or settled status.

Delivering the ruling judge Justice Jay said the Home Office “failed to have regard to the best interests” of children affected. The Home Office said it would consider the ruling’s implications “carefully.”

Young people currently face a £1,012 registration fee before they can formally become British citizens – despite applications costing the Home Office £372 to process. Fees have risen since 2011, and the cost of registering two children has more than tripled due to fee increases and the abolition of second child discounts.The last increase resulted in the charge increasing from £973 to the current £1,012 fee in April 2018.

Campaigners accused the Government of “shamelessly profiteering” and said the “landmark ruling” could help tens of thousands of children growing up in the UK gain citizenship.

Justice Jay said the evidence during the hearing had shown that “for a substantial number of children, a fee of £1,012 is simply unaffordable.”

He said this made the children affected “feel alienated, excluded, isolated, second-best, insecure and not fully assimilated into the culture and social fabric of the United Kingdom.”

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