The Home Office has published a new policy that allows for anyone under the age of 18 who is eligible to register for British citizenship to have their application fee waived if they cannot afford it.
To learn more about children with British citizenship, and what this could mean for you, have a read of our Toolkit section on making an application if you have children.
What is an application for registration?
Registration as a British Citizen happens when a person can apply to the Home Office to show that they are entitled to British Citizenship by providing evidence that they fulfil certain sections of the British Nationality Act 1981. This is a separate process to the immigration system.
Most applications to the Home Office have a fee. Typically, applications for registration as a British Citizen cost about £1,012.00. The new policy states that anyone under the age of 18 can apply for a waiver of this fee if they can prove that they (or their parents) cannot afford it.
To learn more about the registration of children as British Citizens, visit the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) website.
Who does the policy apply to?
To qualify for the fee waiver, the child who is applying for registration – and their parents – must prove that ‘they do not have sufficient funds at their disposal to pay the required fee after meeting their essential living needs, and continuing to meet any other child’s essential needs, such as housing and food‘.
This means that in order to pass the ‘affordability test’ the person who is applying (and those who support them financially) must be unable to pay the fee if they are also meant to be able to pay for essential needs. This includes things like housing, food, clothing, medication, and cleaning products. You must then prove this to the Home Office with ‘clear and compelling evidence‘.
This means that when considering a fee waiver application, the Home Office will take into account things like income (salary), savings in a bank or building society account, or even financial support that you might receive from a charity or NGO.
If the Home Office is satisfied that the evidence you provide shows that you would not be able to afford the application fee whilst also meeting your other needs, the fee waiver will be granted.
This guidance applies to the following types of application:
- Form MN1: Registration of children under the age of 18
- Form S2 and S3: Registration as a British citizen if you are a stateless person
- Form T: Registration as a British citizen if you were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 and lived here until you were 10 years old
- Form B(OS): Registration as a British citizen if you are a British Overseas citizen, British subject, British protected person, or British National (Overseas) and have no other citizenship or nationality
- Form B(OTA): Registration as a British citizen if you are a British Overseas Territories citizen, a British Overseas citizen, a British protected person, a British subject or a British National (Overseas)
- Form EM: Registration as a British Citizen through residence in Hong Kong
There is no fee waiver for citizenship applications made by adults.
To learn more about what led to this policy, and to follow updates on it, visit the PRCBC website.
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