How Much Does It Cost To Become A British Citizen 2020

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

This article provides information on how much it costs to become a British citizen in 2020. The requirements when applying are listed, and an explanation is given of the qualifying criteria and the appeal process.

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British Citizenship Application Fee 2020

Each year, around 160,000 people apply to become British citizens each year, but of those, over 8,500 are refused, or their application is withdrawn. While the odds of successfully receiving citizenship are relatively high, there is a risk that if it is refused, the application fee may not be refunded, leading to a substantial financial loss by the applicant. In this article, we will discuss the costs associated with making an application for 2020 – 2021, and how you can maximise your chances of making a successful outcome.


Application fees for British citizenship – 2020/21

As with most immigration applications, you will be expected to pay the application fee for British citizenship upfront, and for large families, this can represent a substantial amount.

The latest British citizenship application fees for the year 2020 – 2021 are as follows:

  • Naturalisation: £1,330
  • Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens: £1,000
  • Registration (adult): £1,206
  • Registration (child): £1,012
  • Registration (as a British overseas territory citizen – adult): £901
  • Registration (as a British overseas territory citizen – child): £810
  • Application for a right of abode: £372
  • Ceremony fee: £80

What is the difference between naturalisation and registration?

To work out the fees which will apply in your situation, you will need to understand the difference between naturalisation and registration.

Register as a British citizen

You may be able to register for British citizenship if you have a British parent, were born in the UK or you are a British Overseas Territories Citizen, a British National (Overseas), a British Overseas citizen, a British subject, or a British protected person. Not everyone born in the UK is automatically given British citizenship and much will depend on the circumstances of your parents. For example, if one or both of your parents settled in the UK or became a member of the British armed forces before your 18th birthday, you may be eligible to register for citizenship. And if you were born outside of the UK and one of your parents is a British citizen by descent, you may be eligible.

You may also be eligible for UK citizenship if you are not formally recognised as a citizen of any country – this is referred to as being ‘stateless’. As part of your application, you will need to prove you are not and have never been since birth, a citizen of any country. The Home Office will carry out a number of checks to ensure you do not pose a risk to the security of the UK, are not afforded protection by another country, are not ‘undeserving’, and you are not admissible to another country – as an example, the Home Office guidance states that “As part of the consideration of the application, caseworkers must consider any explanations provided by the applicant as to why they cannot seek entry for the purpose of residence to the State that their family member (for example, a spouse) is from”.

Another possibility is that you may be eligible to register for British citizenship if you previously renounced it, and now wish to resume UK nationality.

To check if you are eligible to register as a British citizen, it is advisable to visit the UK Government website.

Naturalise as a British citizen

You can apply to be naturalised as a British citizen if you have moved to the UK and have either:

  • Married or entered into a civil partnership with a British citizen – you will need to have lived in the UK for three years and already have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or a permanent residence document to confirm you have permanent residence status
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – this must have been held for 12 months or more
  • Permanent Residence (PR) status – this is typically granted to individuals or their family members from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland after five years of living in the UK. Like ILR, this must have been held for 12 months before applying to naturalise as a British citizen.
  • Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme – Nationals of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland who has applied for a received confirmation of ‘settled status’ after having lived in the UK for five years can apply to naturalise as a British citizen after 12 months.
Citizenship and naturalisation for migrants in the UK - Migration  Observatory - The Migration Observatory

Are there any other costs when applying for British citizenship?

The application fee is not the only cost that must be paid. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to pay:

  • Document Translations ~ £200
  • Providing biometric information – £19.20
  • Certificate of entitlement – (right of abode) – £372
  • Nationality review – £372
  • Status letter- £250
  • Non-acquisition letter – £250
  • Nationality correction to the certificate – £250

It is important to calculate the total cost of applying for citizenship for yourself and your whole family. If the fee is not paid in full, your application may be refused.

Will I receive a refund in my UK citizenship application is refused?

Under current Government guidance, if your application for British citizenship is refused or withdrawn, you will not receive a refund. You will, however, receive a refund for the citizenship ceremony in the event that your application is refused or withdrawn.

Wrapping up

Applying for British citizenship may be the last stage in the process of securing a safe future for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, registration or naturalisation leading to citizenship is an expensive business, and costs often increase each year. When you do apply, you will want to ensure that you do not make any mistakes which may jeopardise your citizenship or cause you to lose a large amount of application fees and other costs you have paid. If you are in any doubt regarding your eligibility or how to ensure your application proceeds smoothly, it is highly advisable to seek the support of an immigration Solicitor. By doing so, you will give your family the best chance of securing citizenship on the first attempt. Don’t become one of those thousands of applicants who are refused each year.

How Do I Apply for British Citizenship?

passport prices 2020 uk

Passport fees

How much your passport costs depends on how you apply for it.

You cannot get a refund if you cancel your application or you’re not entitled to a passport.

Apply onlineApply by paper form
Adult (16 and over) standard 34-page passport£75.50£85
Adult (16 and over) 50-page frequent traveller passport£85.50£95
Child (under 16) standard 34-page passport£49£58.50
Child (under 16) 50-page frequent traveller passport£59£68.50
Passport for people born on or before 2 September 1929FreeFree

You’ll pay a different fee if you apply for a passport from another country.

If you need to get a passport urgently, it costs more.

You can pay extra to use the Post Office’s Check and Send service.

How to pay

Depending on how you apply, you can pay by:

  • debit or credit card
  • cash
  • cheque or postal order (payable to the correct organisation, and write the application barcode numbers on the back)
Debit or credit card acceptedCheque or postal orderCash
Apply using the Post Office Passport Check and Send serviceYesPostal order payable to ‘Post Office Ltd’

Cheques not accepted
Apply by postYes – complete the form in the application packCheque or postal order payable to ‘Her Majesty’s Passport Office’No
Apply onlineYesNoNo
British Citizenship Fees 2020 - Expert Immigration Solicitors UK

child registration for british citizenship fees 2021

Application Fee for British Citizenship for Children

The application fee of £1,012 to register a child as a British Citizen is not the only cost. A further fee of £19.20 is payable for the enrolment of biometrics (fingerprints and photograph). Furthermore,  if an applicant is unable to secure one of the available free slots, they may have to pay a fee for the UKVCAS appointment, usually between £50 – £200.

Some may argue that British Citizenship is a valuable status and comes at a price. However, the fee seems substantial given the actual cost of processing an application is £372.00. And unlike certain applications for leave to remain in the UK, there is no option to apply for a fee waiver. Nor are there are exemptions or reductions. Consequently, those unable to afford the fee are forced to go without.

children & applying for UK British Citizenship

After years of campaigning against the lawfulness of these costs, action was brought by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC). The case also involved a child, known as ‘O’ who had been born in the UK and lived in the UK ever since. She had become eligible for British Citizenship as she had resided in the UK for the first 10 years of her life. However, she was unable to meet the costs of the application and so could not apply for citizenship. The Claimants raised 2 main arguments:

  1. The Secretary of State failed to discharge her duty to have regard to the best interests of a child when setting the application fee; and
  2. The Secretary of State was not empowered to set the fee at an amount above the actual cost for processing the application.

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