Thursday, September 09, 2004

Not got a passport? That'll be £270, please

Once again, a little something from the Home Office that looks at first glance to be reasonable, then turns nasty under closer scutiny.

Consultation launched on immigration fee increases is a recent press release (8th Sept 2004). At first glance it all looks, well, beaurocratic and largely insignificant.

The idea, as stated in the introduction, is that a fee should be charged to immigrants coming here to work, most of the fees being paid by the company that hires them. Apparently this is already in effect because the document talks about raising the fee, rather than introducing it. So far, so beaurocratic.

Item Four: "Travel document fees for those who cannot get or use a passport from their own country could range from £25 to £270 depending on which type of document is applied for."

This item appears to a new fee. Now ask yourself, what sort of person could not get a passport from their home country? Refugees, maybe? Persecuted minorities, perhaps?

Combine this with the comments from the Mr Browne, quoted:
"The Government is also consulting on proposals to:
Introduce separate travel documents for children who have been granted refugee status."

Two questions to the Home Office:

Will these new travel documents for the children of refugees be subject to the £25 to £270 travel document fee mentioned above. If so, what will happen to the refugees if their parents do not have the capital to meet the fee?

Will any of the fees for travel documents apply to those claiming political asylum?


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