At last night's Birmingham Diocesan Synod a question was asked of Bishop David about the injustices of the fees charged for visas and naturalisation by the Home Office.
Last year a Birmingham Diocesan Synod motion was instrumental in bringing this issue to government and the wider church's attention.
Introducing the debate in July 2017, Ben Franks explained that the current application fee was £1282 for adults and £973 for each child. Any mistake in completing the form, he said, means that the process must be restarted and fresh fees paid.
“This is not a motion about immigration,” Mr Franks said. “This is about the financial and, to some extent, personal cost of applying for citizenship. We are convinced that citizenship should be about loyalty, not wealth.”
Bishop of Derby brought the issue up again in the House of Lords last month.
There is now an investigation into the level of fees being charged instigated by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders Immigration, David Bolt. He is seeking evidence for his investigation from as many groups and individuals as possible.
HOW YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP
The Archbishop's Council for Mission and Public Affairs has called on individuals and parishes with stories of the detrimental effects of the high cost of fees to submit evidence as soon as possible as the deadline for submissions is this Monday July 16th.
Stories should be sent direct to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to ICIBI, 5th floor, Globe House, 89 Eccelston Square, London SW1P 3AZ.
Photo: cc Robert Steele