§ The Earl of Lindsey and Abingdon
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they plan to revise the fee levels for citizenship applications.
§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch)
Citizenship fees were last changed in March 1991 and some changes are necessary in order to meet the Government's policy of recovering no more than the cost of processing citizenship applications. New British Nationality (Fees) Regulations 1996 are being laid before Parliament today to introduce the following fee levels with effect from 1st April 1996:
Present fees New fees £ £ Registration (adult or minor) 85 120 Naturalisation on grounds of marriage to a British citizen 135 120 All other naturalisations 170 150
The fees for applications for naturalisation, which represent about 75 per cent. of all applications, have been reduced significantly. At the same time the opportunity has been taken to remove the element of cross-subsidisation between applications for registration and naturalisation which has come to light since fee levels were last revised. This has led to an increase in the fee for applicants for registration.
The existing arrangements for joint applicants will be unchanged: husbands and wives applying together for naturalisation will continue to pay one single fee, as will minor children of the same parent applying together for registration.
The practice of returning a normal amount where an application is subsequently withdrawn or refused has been reviewed. It has become apparent that the difference in the cost of successful and unsuccessful applications is negligible. Unsuccessful applicants who apply on or after 1st April 1996 will therefore pay the full cost of processing their applications and will not receive a refund.
The new regulations will also increase from £15 to £20 the fees payable to the Home Office for renouncing citizenship and for supplying copy certificates and other documents. The fee for administering the oath of allegiance which is payable to the person administering the oath will be increased from £3.50 to £5 in order to 34WA bring it into line with fees for analogous work under the Commissioners for Oath (Fees) Order 1993.
It is expected that the revised fee levels will provide sufficient income to meet the costs of processing applications over the period April 1996 to April 1997.