The fee for a child to be registered as a British citizen has long been one of the most significant barriers by which many children have been deprived of their citizenship rights in the UK. For some years, this fee was a priority for our casework, litigation, research, policy and campaign work. Following our successful legal challenge to this fee on the basis that it had been set without regard to children’s best interests, the Home Office introduced an exemption from the fee for children looked after by a local authority and a waiver for other children if they could not afford the fee.
This has gone some significant way to meeting calls that we have long made concerning this fee. However, the fee remains a barrier for several children (and young people). Our position remains that no fee above the cost to the Home Office of registration should be charged to any person with a right to be registered as a British citizen, whatever may be their age. We are also concerned that the process introduced by the Home Office for securing a waiver of the fee for a child who cannot afford it is far too complex and demanding, potentially excluding several children who it should be clear cannot afford the fee.
Much of the material on this page pre-dates the introduction of the fee exemption and fee waiver. Nonetheless, since these have only partially removed the barriers faced by children and young people due to the registration fee, we have not removed this material. It remains relevant to understanding how the fee continues to deprive some children and young people of their citizenship rights.
**** TAKE ACTION ****
ASK YOUR MP TO CALL ON THE GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON OUR RECOMMENDATION:
The profit element should be removed from children’s registration fee in all cases, including where their right to register continues into adulthood. Children should not be prevented from registering as British simply because they cannot afford it.
Please write to your MP. You can find out who is your MP and how you can meet or contact them at: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
Reference material on children’s citizenship fees:
Briefing Motion of Regret, July 2022: HERE
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): FAQs8_30 May_2022
Practitioner’s note on Fees, May 2022: HERE
Our Joint letter to Kevin Foster MP (Immigration Minister) June 2022: HERE
We are grateful to the Inspector for meeting us and for raising our concerns on children’s citizenship registration in connection with Home Office fees and in connection with the good character requirement.
ICIBI report on Home Office Fees, published in April 2019:
Home Office’s Response on Home Office’s Fees, published in April 2019:
Amnesty UK Children’s Human Rights Network (CHRN) and PRCBC film clip on impact of Home Office citizenship registration fee upon children:
Commentary on British Nationality Bill 1981 parliamentary debates relating to citizenship fees, August 2018 (written by Steve Valdez-Symonds):
Briefing on children’s citizenship fees for peers:
Briefing on children’s citizenship fees for Westminster Hall debate on 4 September 2018:
Stuart McDonald MP calls for a fair fee regime to enable children to access their right to British citizenship:
Announcement on PRCBC children’s citizenship court challenge:
Press release of PRCBC children’s citizenship fee challenge:
Legal Voice: Children are being priced out of their rights:
We are grateful to our funders:
The Strategic Legal Fund (SLF) for funding our previous legal research on fees and other related citizenship issues and our research on the application of the good character requirement in children’s citizenship registration.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation for funding part of our strategic work.
PRCBC, March 2019