Child registration fees ruled as unlawful

The process by which a child obtains British nationality is known as registration, under the British Nationality Act 1981.

The Home Office application fee is £1,012, plus an additional fee of £19.20 to enrol the child’s biometric data. Thus,  applicants have to pay a grand total of £1,031.20, whilst it only costs the Home Office £372 to fully process an application. According to the Home office, the difference is used to fund other areas of the immigration system.

Child registration fees have always been a controversial topic, as many believe that the extortionate fees have prevented children from exercising their right to lawful British citizenship. Parents have to debate between paying the high application fees and seeking legal advice, against the benefits that perhaps their child could lose out on if they do not register for British nationality.

In December 2019, a high court judge ruled that the registration application fees were unlawful as it prevented minors, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds from being able to register as British citizens. Consequently, some children have been left feeling “alienated, second-best and not fully assimilated into the culture and social fabric of the UK.”

The Home Office appealed on the basis that they have always taken into consideration the best interest of children, when selecting their application fees.

On 18 February 2021, the court of appeal ruled that registration fees are unlawful. The Home Office might now consider the next steps but hopefully these fees will be abolishes.

Should you have any questions on applying for British nationality, please give us a call on 02033843075 or email [email protected]


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