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Permission granted in challenge to child citizenship fees

Permission granted in challenge to child citizenship fees

Today the High Court granted permission for a judicial review challenge to the exorbitant fees that the Home Office charges to children registering as British citizens. The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens argues that charging kids £1,012 to take up their legal entitlement to become British is unlawful.

In slightly more detail, the legal argument is that “in imposing a profit-making element on children’s citizenship the Home Office has acted unlawfully because it is under a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and to act in children’s best interests unless those interests are clearly outweighed by other serious public interest factors”. As we reported in July, the Home Office has made almost £100 million in “profit” over the past five years by setting the registration fee far above the administrative cost of processing applications.

Solange and Steve Valdez-Symonds have highlighted this issue on the blog before, arguing that “reforming registration fees is the only way to ensure that today’s children do not become tomorrow’s ‘Windrush scandal’”. We wish them well with the case.

Conor James McKinney

CJ is Free Movement's deputy editor.

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