NEWS AND UPDATES

 

Youth Workshop

******** Let’s talk Citizenship **********

Anyone under 24 is welcome to come and learn more about citizenship and why it is important – how it can make a difference to future studies and opportunities! You can be part of an action group sharing this knowledge and raising awareness in the community!

While the workshop will not focus on individual legal advice, all discussions will be confidential.

Our Free workshop will take place in central London on Friday 28th July 2017, from 10.30-2.30pm.

Reasonable travel expenses may be covered, and lunch & refreshments will be provided during the workshop.

There is limited capacity.  Please see our invite here July 28th Flyer 

And register via Evenbrite at this link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/youth-workshop-lets-talk-citizenship-tickets-35431842595

If you can’t make it, please do send your friend our invite.

15 June 2017

 

**** TAKE ACTION ****

Use this Briefing on Fees to ask your Member of Parliament to call on the Government to act on our recommendations: 

  1. The profit element should be removed from children’s registration fee in all cases, including where their right to register continues into adulthood. Children should not be prevented from registering as British simply because they cannot afford it.
  2. Children who cannot afford the fee should be granted a waiver of the entire fee.
  3. Where a child is ‘looked after’ by a local authority, there should be a fee exemption. This would prevent the shifting of costs from central to local government.

April 2017

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British Registration Fee increase, 6 April 2017

Government continues to profiteer from young persons right to register as British citizens 

The extortionate Home Office application fee to register as a British citizen has increased to £973 for children, £1,163 for  young adults and £1,282 for those young persons applying to naturalise.

There is no fee waiver or reduction on a registration application fee for those young persons who cannot afford to pay this very high fee – not even for the many such young persons who have a right to register by entitlement. There is also no fee exemption for those young persons being looked after by the local authority.  Yet, it costs the Home Office £386 to process a child’s British citizenship application, which means the Home Office is making a profit of £587 on each application (see Unit Cost Table)

Most children unable to register as British citizens because they can’t afford this extortionate fee are children born in the UK or children who have lived in the UK from a very young age.

For further information about British registration fees, see Briefing 2017

See also article: “Children are being priced out of their rights”

http://www.legalvoice.org.uk/children-priced-rights/

6 April 2017

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“The Local Government Ombudsman has criticised a local authority for not ensuring a child in its care received specialist legal advice and assistance to sort out the child’s right to British citizenship. Having British citizenship has a profound impact on a child’s future and identity. Yet failing to secure a child’s citizenship can lead to that right to citizenship being lost altogether”.

Read our our article for social workers and looked after children here:

SocialWorkArticle_April 2017

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Government continues to profiteer from young persons right to register as British citizens 

The extortionate Home Office application fee to register as a British citizen is currently at £936 for children, £1,121 for  young adults and £1,236 for those young persons applying to naturalise.

There is no fee waiver or reduction on a registration application fee for those young persons who cannot afford to pay this very high fee – not even for the many such young persons who have a right to register by entitlement. There is also no fee exemption for those young persons being looked after by the local authority. Yet, it costs the Home Office £272 to process a child’s British citizenship application, which means the Home Office is making a profit of £664 on each application (see Government impact assessment).

Missing from the Government impact assessment is any assessment relating to young people’s right to register – a right given by Parliament under the British Nationality Act 1981.

Most children unable to register as British citizens because they can’t afford this extortionate fee are children born in the UK or children who have lived in the UK from a very young age.

We are grateful to Baroness Lister and Lord Alton’s powerful speech on the exorbitant Home Office’s application registration fee during the Immigration Bill 2015 debate.

12 August 2016

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PRCBC’s Legal Research on “good character” requirement for children’s registration as British citizens

A child applying to register as a British citizen who is aged ten must satisfy the Secretary of State that he is of ‘good character’. This is a mandatory application requirement. There is no legal definition of ‘good character’ and therefore no statutory guidance on its interpretation and how it should be applied. The Secretary of State’s good character guidance for adult’s naturalisation applications is used for children’s registration applications. There is, therefore, no distinction at all on the face of the present policy between the way in which children’s character is assessed and the way in which adults’ character is assessed.

PRCBC is interested in hearing from any young person who has been affected by the good character requirement or anyone working with such persons.

For more information, please see our legal research page:

https://prcbc.wordpress.com/research/

This is a six month research funded by the Strategic Legal Fund (SLF).

23 May 2016

                               

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We are grateful for the amendment to the Immigration Bill 2015 tabled by Baroness Lister.

This particular amendment  intended for there to be

i) A Home Office fee exemption on registration of  children as British Citizens who are receiving assistance from the local authority

ii) for any child’s registration as British citizen fee to only include the Home Office cost of processing an application

iii) a fee waiver for a child who cannot afford the registration fee

For Baroness Lister’s amendment, please visit parliament UK weblink:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2015-2016/0096/amend/su096-II-a.htm

Thank you to Amnesty International-UK for working jointly with us on this tabled amendment.  Please see below for more information on the current registration fee.

15 March 2016

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Monthly Saturday advice/casework surgery

Our March and April monthly Saturday slots are now full. Thank you to Deighton Pierce & Glynn solicitors for giving us a free office space to run our monthly surgeries and to Asylum Aid for hosting PRCBC.

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Immigration Bill 2015

Lord Alton’s tabled amendment

 We are grateful for the amendment to the Immigration Bill 2015 tabled by Lord Alton. This  particular amendment is intended to highlight the situation of young persons who have been in care and are without any status.  Some of these young persons were born in the UK and others have lived here for almost all their lives and could have been registered as British and/or their stay regularised by a grant of leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain.

For Lord Alton’s speech on this probing amendment, please visit parliament UK weblink:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldhansrd/text/160203-0002.htm#16020378000171

See also letter of response from Lord Bates:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2016-0127/Lord_Rosser_letter_re_Lords_Committee_for_Immigration_Bill__3_Feb__.pdf

PRCBC and Amnesty International briefing on looked after children with uncertain immigration status

Thank you to  Amnesty International-UK for working jointly with us on the attached briefing: Citz Regis Amend v.3

Local Government Ombudsman

In a complaint made against the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s failure to assist a former looked after child to regularise her stay in the UK, the LGO made the following recommendations:

To improve its practice in future the Council should within three months of the date of this report:

  •  provide specialist advice and guidance to its social work staff on the different requirements of the immigration rules, as they apply to children seeking asylum and those seeking leave to remain, and on the Council’s duties in this area;
  •  devise an action plan to ensure it gives full and proper consideration to its duties to all its ‘looked after children’ who may be in need of legal advice, to meet its obligations as their corporate parent to safeguard and promote their welfare. In particular to those ‘looked after children’ with complex immigration problems who may need suitable and timely legal advice regarding their immigration status. It should clearly record the reasons if it has refused to arrange legal advice in such cases;

  •   ensure officers record both the questions raised and any legal advice given; and

  •  ensure all of the complaints it has considered at Stage 1 of the statutory Children Act complaints procedure are progressed to Stage 2 if that is the complainant’s wish, as is their right.

A copy of the full LGO report here.

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Our response on BIS’s consultation on student loans

We are pleased to have submitted our response to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) consultation on  extending support to students with long residence in the UK who don’t have settled status. For a copy of our response:

PRCBC%20response%20to%20consultation%208.1.16

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/student-support-for-non-uk-nationals-who-have-lived-in-the-uk-for-a-long-time

8 January 2016

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PRCBC is in need of a FREE office space once a month on a Saturday 

We are in need of office space to run our monthly children citizenship advice surgery.

Our main requirement is access to 2-3 interviewing rooms, printing, copying and internet facilities.

If you are able to help, please contact Solange Valdez on 07593 103 706 or by e-mail: prcbc2013@aol.com

Thank you

January 2016

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Monthly Saturday advice surgery on matters relating to children and young person’s registration as British

Our monthly Saturday slots are by appointment only. For more information and a referral form, please contact Solange Valdez by e-mail: prcbc2013@aol.com

*** Our  February 2016 Saturday advice surgery is now FULL.

20 January 2016

We are running an e-mail  advice service for  professionals supporting young persons.  Please e-mail prcbc2013@aol.com 

8 January  2016

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Bristol University: Registering Children as British Citizenship- Current laws require overhaul
Briefing 17_Child Citizenship

November 2015