The children’s charity Just for Kids Law has welcomed the decision of the Home Office not to raise the fees for immigration and nationality applications in 2019. We now call on the Home Office to reduce the fees currently in place, which are causing a great deal of distress and instability for children and young people across the country. It currently takes ten years and four Home Office applications with a combined cost of over £10,000 to become a UK citizen. The cost of Leave to Remain applications has risen by 238% since 2014.
The decision comes in the wake of a sustained call from our young-migrants led-Let us Learn project to freeze the fees that they are forced to pay to attain stable status in the UK. The Let us Learn project was founded as part of Just for Kids Law in 2014 to fight for the right of young migrants to access student finance, but the project has since broadened to look at other factors affecting young UK migrants, with a focus over the last year on the impact of rising Home Office fees. The Freeze our Fees campaign included a campaign video, a petition and an action at the Home Office.
The co-leads of the Let us Learn project, Chrisann Jarrett and Dami Makinde, said:
"We are delighted the Home Office has finally listened to us. Despite growing up in the UK and having lived more than half thier lives in the country young migrants are trapped in an intimidating, expensive, bureaucratic nightmare. We hope this is the first step in a change of policy from the government that will lead to a radical reform of the fee system which is long overdue. We'd like to thank Coram Children's Legal Centre for their tireless work fighting together with us on this."