On Thursday 23rd November 2017, Let Us Learn is demonstrating outside the Royal Courts of Justice in support of a legal challenge to the high cost of citizenship fees. A Let Us Learner, Kia, explains why this is such an important issue:
Thank you for reading this.
I am supporting the court case today, which is asking the judges to say that the government is wrong to charge such high fees to children like me, before we can register as British citizens.
I am 17. I was born in north London, and have lived here all my life. I have, literally, never left, not even for a holiday. Yet, the government won’t treat me as British, unless I can pay nearly £1,000 to make a citizenship application to the Home Office. Even though I was born here, the government says I am a citizen of Antigua, because that’s where my mum came from. I have never been to Antigua and don’t really know anything about it.
The citizenship fee is far more than I can afford. My parents are not around any more, and I only have my two sisters. They are both older than me, but they are not allowed to work because they aren’t citizens, so we are all stuck and having to rely on charity to live. We can’t even start to save up the £3,000 it would take for all three of us to sort things out.
The amount charged by the Home Office, £973, is more than twice as much as it actually costs them to process an application. I don’t understand why they have to charge so much money when it stops people like me from being able to become citizens of the country that is my home.
That is why I support this high court case and hope you will, too.
Ways you can help:
- Support Amnesty UK and the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens in their campaign
- Follow us on Twitter: @LetUs_Learn
- Get involved