THE mayor of London urged the British government on Monday (14) to waive more than £1,000 worth of citizenship applications fees to teenagers who do not have immigration status in the UK, despite living in the country for most of their lives. In what Sadiq Khan referred to as a potential “second Windrush-style scandal”, the mayor said teenagers are being “left in limbo” due to large citizenship application fees which they must pay when they apply for post-18 education. These individuals are then being charged high fees meaning they are unable to afford and access university education, student loans and employment. In addition, universities would class the individuals as international students, charging them higher fees than other British students. Khan noted when he first became mayor two years ago, he repeatedly called on the government to address the issue of young people who lack secure immigration status. “The government must act now to avoid a second Windrush-style scandal,” he said. “They need to remove the so-called ‘hostile environment’, streamline the application process so young people’s lives are not needlessly interrupted, and waive the astronomically high fees that they charge to confirm something we already know to be true – that they are British citizens, that they are Londoners.” In April, the government confirmed registration fees for UK citizenship; £1,012 for a child and £1,330 for an adult. “These young people are the doctors, the teachers, the scientists, the politicians and the businessmen and women of tomorrow,” Khan said. “They should have bright futures ahead of them, but instead they are faced with red tape and unacceptably high fees.”
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