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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Section 27: Charges: travel documents

103.This section allows fees to be prescribed for the consideration of applications for travel documents for refugees, stateless persons and other third country nationals. The section does not cover fees for the issue of national passports. Where a fee is payable in an individual case, the Secretary of State is not required to consider the application until the fee has been paid. The expectation is that all applications will be subject to a fee. A fee will be payable whether or not the application is granted and a document issued.

104.Fees are to be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State under this section which, read with section 166, allows different fee levels to be set for different types of case. Fees in respect of applications for travel documents for refugees and stateless persons are to be set at the same amount as that charged for the issue of a standard British passport, in the light of the United Kingdom’s international obligations under the relevant Conventions. Fees in connection with applications for other types of travel document will reflect the full cost of processing the applications.

105.The issue of a travel document has always been subject to the payment of a fee, but there has not previously been an express power to do so which covered the full range of travel documents. Subsection (3) deems the Secretary of State always to have had the power to charge fees for the consideration of applications for a travel document or for the issue of travel documents. The effect is that legal proceedings for a refund in respect of a fee paid before this section came into force cannot succeed. (However, the Government announced in response to a Parliamentary question on 27 July 1999 a scheme to refund certain persons charged for travel documents provided they apply before 30 November 1999.)

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