Recent reports reveal that almost 900 children with "stateless" status have been forced to pay fees to the Home Office as part of their UK immigration applications last year. The recent figures show that the quest for UK visas cost applicants a great deal in 2018. Additionally, 46% of the citizenship applications exposed to the fees were made by parents coming from Commonwealth backgrounds.
While fees for British Naturalisation have risen consistently over recent years, the charges placed against children have prompted criticism from campaigners and MPs.
One official watchdog requested that the UK Home Office should consider scrapping the costs entirely. Apparently, the Home Office currently makes up to £2 million a month from charging children for their indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
The latest data found that in the 12 months leading up to September 2018, the Home Office received around 40,000 applications for British citizenship from children. Indian children accounted for the largest number of applications (5,000), and more than 18,000 applications came from Commonwealth countries.
Letters requesting more support for people from Commonwealth countries were sent into the UK immigration officials recently by school pupils working alongside the Citizens UK group.
According to a sociology professor working with Citizens UK, Stuart Tannock, access to British naturalisation is crucial for children who will grow to play an important role in the UK society. The children in question have already met with the strict criteria that allows them to apply for UK visas. However, they struggle to access the papers that they're eligible for because they're unable to pay a fee that's over £1,000.
According to a Home Office Spokesperson, the fee costs for UK immigration applications have been rising to help deal with the wider costs involved in running the British border. However, the Home Secretary claims to be committed to consistently reviewing the fee amounts.