On 14 July 2017, a devastating fire set alight Grenfell Tower in West London. The fire has been labelled as a national calamity and has resulted in disaster for the victims and their families. The official death toll is still yet to be confirmed and there is still no information on unaccounted victims. The UK Government has confirmed there are 255 survivors (to date) who are in need of urgent assistance. In response to the tragic fire, the UK Government has published a new Home Office Policy and Guidance for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, promising the victims a 12-month Immigration Amnesty (“New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy”).
New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy – 12-month Immigration Amnesty for Grenfell Tower Survivors
The Home Office has urged survivors of the tragedy to come forward and contact the designated charities so that they can receive the necessary medical care and support they need to recover. The Home Office has recognised that there may be survivors who are reluctant to come forward due to their immigration status in the UK.
In response, the Home Office has promised a 12-month Immigration Amnesty for the Victims. Brandon Lewis, the UK’s Immigration Minister has declared that:
“The Government has been clear that our priority is to ensure that victims of this tragedy get the access they need to vital services, irrespective of immigration status”.
The Home Office will, therefore, grant leave outside the Immigration rules to individuals directly affected by this tragedy. The leave will be granted for 12 months and granted on an exceptional basis to allow those directly affected by the fire to regularise their status or consider their options.
Who Can Apply Under the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy
The New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy will allow the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire to come forward to seek legal advice and to regularise their Immigration status or consider their options for the lawful right to reside in the UK. More importantly, the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy allows the survivors to access social benefits and funds from the public purse. Applicants who wish to rely on the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy must be able to demonstrate that they were a resident of the Grenfell Tower at the time of the fire. The following group of people can apply:
- Applicants with no Immigration status (including illegal entrants and over stayers) and EEA nationals in the UK not exercising Treaty Rights;
- Applicants with limited Leave to Remain in the UK that is due to expire within 12 months to the date of the announcement of the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy; or
- Applicants who have had their Asylum applications refused and individuals with a current immigration status which is subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds.
It is important to note that in some circumstances people residing in the close proximity of the Grenfell Tower may also rely on the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy if they can demonstrate they have been significantly affected by the fire and have been displaced by the fire.
The Home Office has made it abundantly clear that they will not allow Applicants to abuse this New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy and any person who found guilty of making a false claim will be referred to Immigration Enforcement and will be considered for removal on Deception grounds under the Immigration Rules.
Using Legal Representation to Apply Under the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an application under the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successfully Applying Under the New Home Office Immigration Amnesty Policy
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.