15th May 2019

Paying to be Stuck in Limbo?

Join us to take action against unfair fees!

People who have their asylum claim accepted are recognised as refugees, and have the right to live and work in the UK. After living here for 10 years they can apply for full citizenship, but this comes at a high cost – over £1000 per person.

Some people are put in an even more difficult situation – ‘Discretionary Leave to Remain’. This means their personal asylum claim has been rejected, but their country remains too dangerous to return to. Whilst stuck in this state of limbo, they must:

  • Pay £1033 per person and fill out a 36-page form every 2½ years for permission to stay.
  • Pay a £400 per year ‘health surcharge’ to use the NHS.
  • Carry a biometric identity card (costing £56) marking them out as an immigrant.
  • After 10 years they can apply for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ at a cost of £2,389 per person.

Pop into Peace Hub to take action against these unfair fees!

A ‘Report on Charging and Fees’ has recently been published by the Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration, David Bolt. 

The report found:

  • Some families with Discretionary Leave to Remain are in danger of being forced to pay anything up to £50,000 over their 10-year-long route to settlement.
  • Excessive fees have not been justified to the users or the public.
  • The fees have a terrible impact on people who are already often highly vulnerable. Many are suffering PTSD following torture or the trauma of fleeing their home.
  • Cost of £1000 is much too high for citizenship, especially for children. There is no need for British citizenship to cost more than £372 (the admin cost to the Home Office).
  • Having to wait 10 years before applying for citizenship is too long, this should be reduced.

The report recommended that:

  • A public consultation be held on immigration fees during the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
  • An annual impact assessment be conducted by the government on the effect of fees on poor families and individuals.
  • Fees should be returned (minus the administrative cost) if applications fail.

Pop into Peace Hub to sign one of our letters to Minister of State for Immigration (The Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP) in support of the report’s recommendations.

Many thanks to Lifeline Options for drafting a template letter and providing background support for this campaign.

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