The Court of Appeal has upheld the ruling of the High Court that the £1,012 fee the Home Office charges children to register as a British citizen is unlawful.
This case, brought by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) and O (a child), has revealed the impact of this fee upon children. In 2019, the High Court found a “mass of evidence” showing that the fee prevents many children from registering their British citizenship, leaving them feeling “alienated, excluded, isolated, “second-best”, insecure and not fully assimilated into the culture and social fabric of the UK.”
The Home Office did not challenge these findings; and the Court of Appeal added that for children like O, “one of three children of a single parent on state benefits, it is difficult to see how the fee could be afforded at all.”
The current administrative processing cost of a child’s registration as a British citizen is only £372. The Home Office uses the remaining £640 profit to cross-subsidise the immigration system.
Mishcon de Reya Partner Maria Patsalos, who represented the PRCBC said; "This decision is another positive step in enabling children to access their rights as British citizens.
“It is a decision to celebrate, but we remain concerned that with each passing day of the Home Office waiting to rectify this, some children are losing the right to register as British upon turning 18.
“The Home Office should look now to amend its fees and act swiftly to ensure wealth is not a requirement for children to access their citizenship rights."
Read the full press release here.