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British Nationality: Applications

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will provide a breakdown of the cost of processing applications for British citizenship; (157092)

(2) if she will list all changes made to the fees required of applicants for British citizenship in the last 10 years; and what the reasons were for any above-inflation increases.

The costs involved in processing an application for citizenship are detailed in the following tables.

Naturalisation (£)

From 12 June 1997

150

From 1 January 2004

150

From 1 April 2005

200

From 2 April 2007

575

Fee breakdown 2007

Naturalisation (£)

Salary costs of staff directly involved in charged casework

55.51

Non-staff direct costs (office admin, accommodation, IT)

53.56

BIA fixed overhead costs (senior management, HR, finance, cost of capital, depreciation)

47.44

Total BIA costs

156.51

From 2006, BIA began recouping more of the costs of the immigration system from visa charges. Visas that are particularly valuable therefore saw price increases commeasurable with their value. Comprehensive research and consultation demonstrated that British nationality brings many benefits that applicants value very highly, such as, the right to vote in general elections and eligibility to apply for a British passport which provides the holder with the right of free movement throughout the European Union, removing the necessity to apply and pay for visas to visit those countries. We believe this justifies the fact that the fees charged for applications under this route should be greater than for some other routes.