Home Office fees for children to register as British citizens found to be unlawful

In December 2019, the High Court ruled that the £1,012 fee the Home Office charges children to register as a British citizen was unlawful. The case was brought by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) and two children (aged 3 and 13) born in the UK.

The court found that the Home Office had failed to properly consider the best interests of children when setting the registration fee and that the regulations relating to citizenship registrations were unlawful. The decision means that the Home Office must re-consider the registration fee while treating children's best interests as a primary consideration.

The Home Office has appealed the decision and PRCBC can request permission to appeal straight to the Supreme Court on the argument as to whether the Home Office have no power to set the fee beyond the administrative cost or at a cost that was unaffordable to children.

This is an important judgment for many children who are entitled to register as British citizens but are unable to due to unfair costs. The Strategic Legal Fund supported Deighton Pierce Glynn to prepare an intervention for Amnesty International UK. For further information, please see the PRCBC website.

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