27 December 2019 #Immigration
The current Home Office fee to register a child as a British Citizen is currently £1,012. The High Court has recently ruled that the fee is unlawful as it fails to take into consideration children’s best interests.
For some time now, the Home Office has been criticised for their extortionate immigration application fees when compared to other countries. This is the certainly the case for children registration fees where the actual cost of processing such an application to the Home Office is only £372, which means the Home Office is making a profit of £640. The extortionate fee has barred numerous children from being registered as British as they simply cannot afford to apply. Many have accused the Home Office of ‘shamelessly profiteering’ from children’s application fees, including Amnesty International.
Mr Justice Jay, who delivered the judgement, stated that the fee made children “feel alienated, excluded, isolated second-best, insecure and not fully assimilated into the culture and social fabric of the UK”. The judgement emphasised the importance of children to have a sense of belonging and have protected rights in the UK. The ruling will encourage those children who are eligible to register as British, to apply without any financial barriers. The Home Office will now have to review the appropriate fee to be charged for the application, taking into consideration children’s best interest.