Now, minors are eligible to request a fee waiver for British citizenship.

Families who can’t afford British citizenship for their children can now get it for free. A new “citizenship fee waiver for individuals under 18” policy was published today. It allows under-18s to apply to have the £1,012 fee on applications for registration as a British citizen waived. The policy applies where the fee is unaffordable because paying it would compromise the child’s essential living needs, although lots of supporting evidence is required.

The test for when a fee waiver will be granted is “affordability”: the child and (more to the point) their parent(s) can show that they “cannot afford the fee”. The guidance goes on to define what this means:

Affordability definition

The applicant and parent(s) are considered unable to pay the fee when they do not have sufficient funds at their disposal to pay the required fee after meeting their essential living needs, and continuing to meet any other child’s essential needs, such as housing and food. This is the primary assessment for whether a fee waiver should be granted.

Essential living needs include:

housing or accommodation, utilities, food, clothing, toiletries, non-prescription medication, and household cleaning items [and] the costs of travel and communication to enable the supported persons to maintain interpersonal relationships and access a reasonable level of social, cultural and religious life.

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