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British Citizenship Application Fee 2020

Each year, around 160,000 people apply to become British citizens each year, but of those, over 8,500 are refused, or their application is withdrawn. While the odds of successfully receiving citizenship are relatively high, there is a risk that if it is refused, the application fee may not be refunded, leading to a substantial financial loss by the applicant. In this article, we will discuss the costs associated with making an application for 2020 - 2021, and how you can maximise your chances of making a successful outcome.

Application fees for British citizenship - 2020/21

As with most immigration applications, you will be expected to pay the application fee for British citizenship upfront, and for large families, this can represent a substantial amount.

The latest British citizenship application fees for the year 2020 - 2021 are as follows:

  • Naturalisation: £1,330
  • Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens: £1,000
  • Registration (adult): £1,206
  • Registration (child): £1,012
  • Registration (as a British overseas territory citizen - adult): £901
  • Registration (as a British overseas territory citizen - child): £810
  • Application for a right of abode: £372
  • Ceremony fee: £80

What is the difference between naturalisation and registration?

To work out the fees which will apply in your situation, you will need to understand the difference between naturalisation and registration.

Register as a British citizen

You may be able to register for British citizenship if you have a British parent, were born in the UK or you are a British Overseas Territories Citizen, a British National Overseas, a British Overseas citizen, a British subject, or a British protected person. Not everyone born in the UK is automatically given British citizenship and much will depend on the circumstances of your parents. For example, if one or both of your parents settled in the UK or became a member of the British armed forces before your 18th birthday, you may be eligible to register for citizenship. And if you were born outside of the UK and one of your parents is a British citizen by descent, you may be eligible.

You may also be eligible for UK citizenship if you are not formally recognised as a citizen of any country - this is referred to as being 'stateless'. As part of your application, you will need to prove you are not and have never been since birth, a citizen of any country. The Home Office will carry out a number of checks to ensure you do not pose a risk to the security of the UK, are not afforded protection by another country, are not 'undeserving', and you are not admissible to another country - as an example, the Home Office guidance states that 'As part of the consideration of the application, caseworkers must consider any explanations provided by the applicant as to why they cannot seek entry for the purpose of residence to the State that their family member (for example, a spouse) is from'.

Another possibility is that you may be eligible to register for British citizenship if you previously renounced it, and now wish to resume UK nationality.

To check if you are eligible to register as a British citizen, it is advisable to visit the UK Government website.

Naturalise as a British citizen

You can apply to be naturalised as a British citizen if you have moved to the UK and have either:

  • Married or entered into a civil partnership with a British citizen - you will need to have lived in the UK for three years and already have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or a permanent residence document to confirm you have permanent residence status
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) - this must have been held for 12 months or more
  • Permanent Residence (PR) status - this is typically granted to individuals or their family members from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland after five years of living in the UK. Like ILR, this must have been held for 12 months before applying to naturalise as a British citizen.
  • Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme - Nationals of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland who has applied for a received confirmation of 'settled status' after having lived in the UK for five years can apply to naturalise as a British citizen after 12 months.

Related Article: Read also 'Best Route for Naturalisation Application not to be Refused'

Are there any other costs when applying for British citizenship?

The application fee is not the only cost that must be paid. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to pay:

  • English Language Test ~ £150 - £250
  • Life in the UK Test - £50
  • Document Translations ~ £200
  • Providing biometric information - £19.20
  • Certificate of entitlement - (right of abode) - £372
  • Nationality review - £372
  • Status letter- £250
  • Non-acquisition letter - £250
  • Nationality correction to the certificate - £250

It is important to calculate the total cost of applying for citizenship for yourself and your whole family. If the fee is not paid in full, your application may be refused.

Will I receive a refund in my UK citizenship application is refused?

Under current Government guidance, if your application for British citizenship is refused or withdrawn, you will not receive a refund. You will, however, receive a refund for the citizenship ceremony in the event that your application is refused or withdrawn.

Wrapping up

Applying for British citizenship may be the last stage in the process of securing a safe future for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, registration or naturalisation leading to citizenship is an expensive business, and costs often increase each year. When you do apply, you will want to ensure that you do not make any mistakes which may jeopardise your citizenship or cause you to lose a large number of application fees and other costs you have paid. If you are in any doubt regarding your eligibility or how to ensure your application proceeds smoothly, it is highly advisable to seek the support of an immigration Solicitor. By doing so, you will give your family the best chance of securing citizenship on the first attempt. Don’t become one of those thousands of applicants who are refused each year.

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