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The Cost of British Citizenship

With the Home Office applications fees due to be increased by as much as nearly 40% from April 2014, we thought it might be interesting to look at the cost of British Citizenship.For our example we will consider a married couple. The main applicant is coming here under the Tier 2 General visa category – a fairly common scenario for skilled workers where they are either highly paid, in a skills shortage area or the UK employer has failed to find a suitably qualified or experienced person within the UK.

During their time in the UK this couple decide to have just one child. They have no rights to benefits during this time and are employed under the usual PAYE system, paying tax and National Insurance contributions.

The total cost to this family over the six-year period to obtain British Citizenship will be £11,341, assuming that no English language test is required for the dependant partner, in addition to the income tax and National Insurance that will have been paid whilst not being entitled to any benefits.

Clearly British Citizenship has many benefits but it certainly does not come cheap these days. Many will have come to the UK and calculated their income and expenditure based on previous application fees. Whilst it is perfectly acceptable that costs are likely to increase, the Home Office have very often increased application fees by as much as 50% year-on-year over the last few years.

This most recent planned application fee increase of nearly 40% for dependant family members comes at a time when families are an under ever-increasing cost of living burden. The only alternative to paying these fees is to leave the UK or split the family.

The Home Office are already making a profit on these applications as the fees are significantly higher than the unit costs, and these increases simply seek to create significantly increased profits from those who have little choice but to pay.