British Nationality: Applications

Home Office written question – answered on 8th July 2019.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment he has made of the equity of the fee structure for applying to become a UK citizen for people who have been (a) born and (b) raised in the UK.

Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he has taken to ensure that a person eligible to apply for UK citizenship is not prevented from doing so as a result of the fee structure.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

An assessment of the impact of all border, immigration and citizenship (BIC) fees was published as an associated document to the Immigration and

Nationality Fees (Regulations) 2018. Whilst the assessment doesn’t focus on

affordability, which would be a very subjective matter, it does include

estimates of price elasticity. Policy Equality Statements are prepared alongside proposed fee changes.

The relevant information can be found via the following link:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2018/59/pdfs/ukia_20180059_en.pdf

Additionally, the Home Office keeps its fees for immigration and nationality under regular review and changes to individual charges need to be made with a view to maintaining the overall purpose of the fees and charging legislation.

The Home Office constantly strives to achieve the right balance between ensuring that individuals are able to obtain status in the UK and access appropriate services, without adding burden to the taxpayer.

Applying for British nationality is not mandatory and many individuals who have settlement/ indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status choose not to apply. This is because, in addition to lawful permanent residence in the UK, a person with indefinite leave to remain has full access to the UK labour market, education, healthcare and the ability to sponsor family members’ residence in the UK.

The Home Office also provides for exceptions to the need to pay application fees for limited and indefinite leave to remain, in a number of specific

circumstances. These exceptions ensure that the Home Office’s immigration and nationality fee structure complies with international obligations, including in relation to refugees and persons deriving rights under the ECHR and wider government policy and the protection of vulnerable children, such as those in Local Authority (LA) care.

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