Home Office profits £100 Million from Citizenship Registration
Home Office benefit on the expenses charged to kids practicing their entitlement to British citizenship comes to almost £100 million in the course of recent years, Free Movement examination has published.
The questionably high expense for the citizenship procedure known as Registration — set for this present year at £1,012 — is far higher than the assessed authoritative cost to the division for handling registration applications. A year ago, for instance, the “benefit” per application was £587. As 33,000 youngsters effectively enrolled in 2017/18, that year the division rounded up £19 million far beyond the expenses caused.
From 2012/13 to 2017/18, the total was £94.24 million. The Home Office acknowledged that our methodology is valid but said that the surplus revenue does not represent “profit”, as it helps pay for the immigration and borders system. The traditional rationale for taking a margin on immigration and nationality fees is that the system should be “funded by those who benefit from it”.
But campaigners against excessive fees point out that many have a legal right to citizenship that is triggered by registration. The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens has launched a legal challenge to the level of fees charged and says that “the Home Office is, in effect, seeking to sell something to children who are already entitled to it by Act of Parliament”.
With fees rising above inflation in most recent years, the number of children successfully registering has fallen. Cost is an obvious deterrent. The calculation of the total surplus generated relies on departmental estimates for processing costs and does not take into account things like withdrawn applications or the time tag between application and registration which might mean that the actual revenue generated is slightly different. Nor does it include the profit made on unsuccessful registration applications by children, which would take the total even higher.
British citizenship is the most secure immigration status possible but the right to registration under the British Nationality Act 1981 can lapse when a child turns 18. Children who would become British by registration but for the cost might have no other immigration status at all, even if born here to migrant parents, and risk being removed from the UK. Amnesty International UK says that children are being “priced out of their rights”.
When challenged on this issue at recent Prime Minister’s Questions recently, Theresa May suggested that citizenship is of little consequence for children:
A minor who has indefinite leave to remain will have access to benefits and entitlements which put them on an equal footing to their British citizen peers, so a grant of British citizenship is not therefore required.
We oppose this idea. A portion of the kids applying for British citizenship won’t have indefinite leave to remain. Those that do ought to be urged to end up British residents, not dissuaded by cosmic expenses. It is a real outrage that the Home Office is profiting from youngsters who are qualified for be British nationals and in doing as such deflecting some from guaranteeing that qualification.
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