The Price of Belonging --- report launch from Citizens UK and students from UCL's IoE
Today, students from the Institute of Education at UCL, working with Citizens UK, launch their report The Price of Belonging - which reveals the UK Government has made £102,749,216 profit from child citizenship fees from 2017 to 2020.
Read the full report here: The Price of Belonging
The key findings of the report are:
- Non-citizen students often come from families with No Recourse to Public Funds, leaving them at high risk of poverty and poor living conditions.
- There are approximately 85,000 to 215,000 children who are entitled to British citizenship but are left undocumented due to various barriers, including the high cost of the registration fee. The Home Office makes £640 profit per application which amounts to £102,749,216 profit from child citizenship fees alone between 2017 and 2020.
- In February 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s ruling that the £1,012 fee is unlawful.
- The United Kingdom charges over 10 times more for citizenship registration than other European countries, including Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden.
- Families, especially non-white immigrants, suffer from existing economic hardships in addition to the high fees. Issues like occupational downgrading lead to families living in overcrowded housing.
- Non-citizens have limited access to secondary healthcare and are subject to surcharges and upfront charging of extortionate fees. Undocumented children are less likely to use primary medical services which they are entitled to.
- Children without full citizenship experience exclusion and barriers to accessing higher education. Non-citizen families are vulnerable to domestic stigmatisation and prejudice, as they are often seen as targets of overt and covert discrimination.
The 3 key recommendations from the report are:
- Reducing the cost of applications for British Citizenship to £372 per child.
- Waiving the application fees for families who cannot afford it.
- Exempting children in care and care leavers from having to pay the application fee.