Search

Wembley Ark Academy students picket Home Office over ‘unfair citizenship fees’ for children

PUBLISHED: 17:45 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:45 04 October 2018

Ark Academy students outside the Home Office demanding lower fees for British citizenship applications. Picture: Alastair Wanklyn

Ark Academy students outside the Home Office demanding lower fees for British citizenship applications. Picture: Alastair Wanklyn

Archant

Students from Ark Academy in Wembley picketed the Home Office today to demand lower fees on applications for British citizenship.

Ark Academy students outside the Home Office demanding lower fees for British citizenship applications. Picture: Alastair WanklynArk Academy students outside the Home Office demanding lower fees for British citizenship applications. Picture: Alastair Wanklyn

They were among more than 160 from seven different schools who joined the protest in Whitehall.

The £1,012 fee for a child’s application is about £700 more than the actual cost of processing the application. The rest, says the Home Office, subsidises general running costs for the government’s citizenship and border control services – as has been the case since 2004.

Campaigners say this is unfair, and that there is no consideration of an applicant’s income, and no refund if the bid is rejected.

“This requires a sense of urgency,” said Ark Academy student Hadeal Abdelatti, 15. ‎”People cannot claim an identity which is rightfully theirs.”

The Home Office has commissioned a review of fees. Recommendations are expected by December, but any change would require government approval.

Protest coordinator Stuart Tannock, a lecturer at University College London, said: “We’ve come a really long way. A year ago, the Home Office said: ‘We’re not going to meet you. We’re not going to reduce fees.’ Now we’re hopeful there may be a recommendation for lower fees.”

The cost of citizenship is a long-running campaign for grassroots activist groups linked by the Citizens UK coalition. In December 2017 several hundred protesters from schools, mosques and churches delivered sacks of petition letters to the Home Office.

Citizens UK organiser Tahmid Islam said: “This affects 120,000 children across the UK. They have a sense of power about this.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “When setting fee levels, the Home Office considers a number of factors including the cost of processing the application and the likely benefits of a successful application.

“In addition, the wider cost of running the border, immigration and citizenship system are taken into account so that those who directly benefit from it contribute to its funding, minimising the impact on the UK taxpayer.

“As the immigration minister has previously stated, we are reviewing the approach taken in setting fees for visa, immigration and nationality services.”

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

Library campaigners in Cricklewood got a big surprise and welcome boost with a charitable windfall of more than £100,000.

A Harlesden-based business that sold a 16cm boning knife to a 15-year-old customer has been fined more than £1,700.

The parents of two murdered teenage boys have got behind a new campaign by Brent Council urging youths not to carry knives.

A couple who suffered a brutal homophobic attack at their hostel in Wembley have accused Brent Council of putting their lives in danger by not rehousing them.

Yesterday, 18:04

A river blighted with sewage pouring out of people’s toilets in Kenton has led to a giant community effort to start replanting flowers.

Yesterday, 10:52

Queen’s Park has triumphed with a golden win in this year’s London in Bloom awards.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

.This response is typical of the sort of excuse that Brent’s planners come up with, writes Philip Grant, Kingsbury (full address supplied), in response to an e-mail from Brent Council’s planning team about his Wembley Stadium concerns (“Stadium view is vanishing”, Times):

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Once again, politicians are changing our wards to suit themselves, not our

residents.

PROMOTED CONTENT

A new community centre, The Yellow, opens in Wembley Park in the heart of the Brent community. From October 1, the hub will offer a selection of arts and fitness classes, many of which will be free.

The Granville has begun taking bookings for workspaces and events ahead of its opening this spring.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Kilburn Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now