UK’s ₤ 1,000 kid citizenship cost ruled illegal by appeal court

Court upholds judgment that Home Office stopped working to examine best interests of kids in setting the fee

Home Office costs of ₤ 1,000 for kids to sign up as British residents are illegal, the court of appeal has maintained in a landmark ruling.

The high fees that children or their moms and dads are expected to pay to protect British citizenship have been questionable for several years. Children who have a right to register as British citizens but might be avoided from doing so due to the high cost or lack of access to legal guidance risk losing on rights and benefits.

Thursday’s judgment discovered that ministers had actually failed to assess and consider the impact of this charge on children and their rights, mentioning that for some households it was “hard to see how the fee could be afforded at all”.

The Office charges ₤ 1,012 for a child to register for citizenship. However, the process costs about a third of that, at ₤ 372. The Home Office says the profit is used to money other areas of its work.

In December 2019 a high court judge ruled that the cost was illegal after discovering it avoided many children from being registered for citizenship, leaving them feeling “pushed away, second-best and not fully assimilated into the culture and social fabric of the UK”.

The Office appealed versus the high court’s judgment that the department had failed in its responsibility to assess the very best interests of kids and offer main factor to consider to these interests in setting the fee.

The court of appeal declined this appeal and the department must now reconsider the cost and make sure that children’s benefits are taken totally into account in doing so.

Reacting to the judgment, Carol Bohmer, the chair of the Project for the Registration of Children as British People, which brought the case, said she was “delighted” the courts had actually once again held that the “scandalously high” fee was illegal.

“We will continue in our mission so nobody remains in future forced to grow up in the UK suffering the alienation and isolation that is currently the experience of many young people,” she stated.

Bohmer, together with the job’s creator, Solange Valdez Symonds, have actually been campaigning for 8 years to reform citizenship costs for children.

The Home Office has been approached for comment.

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