Immigration Corner | Fee waiver for a minor applying for British citizenship | New

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am a minor and am considering applying for UK citizenship. I am told that I may be eligible for the fee waiver. I would like you to give me some advice on this.

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Dear FB,

Individuals can apply for a fee waiver, so they do not have to pay a citizenship application fee. They may be eligible to receive a citizenship application fee waiver if they are under 18. If they apply online for a fee waiver, they must obtain a decision before applying for citizenship.

ELIGIBILITY

People can apply for a fee waiver if they are under 18 and eligible for UK citizenship.

They can become British citizens if one of their parents considered the UK their country of origin and did one of the following after they were born:

• became a British citizen;

• granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK;

• Has obtained ‘settlement status’ (also known as ‘permission to stay indefinitely under the EU settlement scheme’);

• granted indefinite leave to enter the UK;

• Obtained permanent resident status.

Individuals can request a fee waiver if they cannot afford the fee because they:

• You don’t have a home and you can’t afford to buy one;

• Are unable to pay for essential living expenses such as food and heating;

• Do not have enough money to pay fees after paying for housing and other essential living expenses;

• Paying the fees would mean that their children’s needs cannot be met.

In addition, the person’s parent or legal guardian can apply on their behalf. They can include their other children in the same application.

People in the care of a local authority do not need to apply for a fee waiver. They will be asked if they need a fee waiver when applying for citizenship instead.

REQUEST A WAIVER OF FEES

People can apply online or by mail. If applying from Guernsey or Jersey, they must apply by post. They cannot currently claim this fee waiver from the Isle of Man.

If the online fee waiver application is successful, individuals must also apply for citizenship online. If they cannot apply for both online, they must apply instead. When applying by mail, individuals must complete a Child Citizenship Fee Waiver Application form and send it to the address listed on the form.

Individuals should note that when applying online, they will be able to save the form and return to it later. Please note that before you begin, people will be asked to prove their identity by uploading a copy of their online ID, for example a:

• Passport;

• ID card;

• Biometric residence permit.

They will also have to provide information on their financial situation, for example:

• Bank statements;

• Letters from local authorities or family members showing that they receive financial support;

• Proof that they receive public funds;

• Proof of household income, eg payslips;

• Proof of their household expenses, for example, how much rent they pay.

AFTER APPLYING

After applying, people will receive a confirmation email from the Home Office. If the request is approved, people will receive an email or letter with a personalized code (called a ‘token’). This code must then be used when applying for citizenship.

Good luck!

John S. Bassie is an attorney/attorney practicing law in Jamaica. He is a Justice of the Peace, Supreme Court Appointed Mediator, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Chartered Arbitrator, Global Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Fellow of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: [email protected]

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