Closed petition Lower the cost of British Citizenship applications to £372.
People with “settled status” in the UK have all the rights of a British Citizen in terms of work and benefits but cannot vote in General Elections. Before they can vote they must pay £1330 per person to apply for Citizenship even though it only costs The Home Office £372 to process the application.
To gain settled status people need to live in the UK for at least 5 years and demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and British culture. After a year of settlement, they can then apply for Citizenship. These requirements are perfectly reasonable but the cost is not.
This fee does not reduce the number of immigrants or reduce the impact on social services. It simply suppresses millions of voters who pay tax. Why are we supporting a system of taxation without representation?
This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website
This response was given on 1 November 2019
It is a choice to naturalise as a British citizen, and therefore pay the specified fee. Those who have settled status within the UK are able to live, work and study without restriction.
Read the response in full
The Immigration Act 2014 is the primary legislation which gives the Home Office statutory powers to set fees for immigration and nationality applications. Section 68(9) of the Act states; in setting the amount of any fee, or rate or other factor, the Secretary of State may have regard to the costs of exercising the function; benefits that are likely to accrue to any person in connection with the application; and the costs of exercising any other function in connection with immigration or nationality.
Fees for nationality applications can be set to take into account the costs of considering an application, in addition to the benefits of becoming a British citizen and wider costs operating the Border, Immigration and Citizenship (BIC) system. They are not set to reduce migration or fund social services.
A key part of delivering a BIC system which the public expects is acquiring the necessary resources to fund delivery of, and improvements in, the services we offer. The government believes it is right that those who use and benefit directly from the system contribute towards meeting the costs, thereby reducing the burden to the UK taxpayer. The Home Office aims to reduce the overall funding contribution from general taxation through income generated from fees.