High fee 'removes children's right to UK citizenship'

The “excessively high” fee the government charges children to register as a British citizen effectively removes their entitlement to UK citizenship, the high court has heard.

The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) argues the “exorbitant” £1,012 registration fee, for an application which costs the Home Office just £372 to process, is unlawfully high. The charity says many children who are entitled to citizenship, having been born in the UK and lived here for their first 10 years, are prevented from applying because of the cost.

The case, which is supported by Amnesty International UK, is being brought on behalf of two children – identified as A and O – but the PRCBC said the outcome could affect tens of thousands of people in the UK.

Opening the PRCBC’s case on Tuesday, Richard Drabble QC said setting the fee at £640 more than the administrative cost “involves a conscious decision to raise a sizeable surplus … for use elsewhere in the immigration system”. He told the court the fee was “unaffordable” for a “large number of would-be applicants” who were entitled to British citizenship, who he said would “also be living in poverty, or with severely limited means”.

Source the Guardian

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