Fee Waiver for Children Obtaining British Citizenship
New regulations give the Home Secretary the power to waive the fee for a child to be registered as a British Citizen.
Ordinarily, there is a £1,012 fee for registering a child as a British Citizen. The New Statesman has claimed that the Home Office has made £240 million in profit from these fees since 2010. Following the courts of England & Wales finding that, on numerous occasions, this fee had been set without consideration of children’s best interests, a review of the fee was conducted by the Home Secretary.
The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 are the result of this review, granting the Home Secretary the power to waive the £1,012 fee where the child’s parents/guardians cannot afford it. Any child who is looked after by a local authority will automatically be entitled to the waiver.
The Home Office guidance on the waiver states that the waiver will be available where the parents/guardians do not have sufficient funds to pay the fee after meeting their essential living needs and the child’s essential needs (such as housing and food).
In demonstrating that they meet these requirements, parents/guardians will have to provide “clear and compelling evidence” that they lack the means to afford the fee. Income, expenditure, savings and assets will all be considered. To this end, the Home Office requires financial documentation, such as bank statements, covering the six-month period up to the request for waiver.
Applications opened on 16 June 2022, and the form can be accessed here.
If you need any help with completing the form, gathering the necessary evidence, or applying for British Citizenship for your child more generally, please contact our Immigration team at [email protected]