18 February 2021: Guardian: Court upholds ruling that Home Office failed to assess best interests of children in setting the fee
Home Office fees of £1,000 for children to register as British citizens are unlawful, the court of appeal has upheld in a landmark ruling.
The high fees that children or their parents are expected to pay to secure British citizenship have been controversial for many years. Children who have a right to register as British citizens but may be prevented from doing so due to the high cost or lack of access to legal advice risk losing out on rights and benefits.
Thursday’s ruling found that ministers had failed to assess and consider the impact of this fee on children and their rights, pointing out that for some families it was “difficult to see how the fee could be afforded at all”.
The Home 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 fund other areas of its work.