In the wake of the recent Windrush Scandal, the UK Government and the Home Office have finally taken steps in order to provide help and support to the Windrush Generation. The Windrush scheme was introduced on 30 May 2018 and has been set up to facilitate the process for these individuals to get the necessary documentation in order to prove their status in the UK.
What is the Windrush Scheme?
The Windrush Scheme has been implemented by new Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, and is in force from 30 May 2018. The new Windrush Scheme provides assistance for:
- A Commonwealth citizen who was settled in the UK before 1 January 1973 and has been continuously resident in the UK since their arrival;
- A Commonwealth citizen who was settled in the UK before 1 January 1973 whose settled status has lapsed because they left the UK for a period of more than 2 years, and is now lawfully in the UK and has close and continuing ties with the UK;
- A child of a Commonwealth citizen who was settled in the UK before 1 January 1973, where the child was born in the UK or arrived in the UK before the age of 18 and has been continuously resident in the UK since their arrival;
- A person of any nationality, who arrived in the UK before 31 December 1988 and is lawfully settled in the UK; or
- A Commonwealth citizen who was settled in the UK before 1 January 1973 but who does not have a document confirming their Right of Abode or settled status, or whose settled status has lapsed because they left the UK for a period of more than 2 years.
There is a 17 page Home Office application form that the above individuals should use. There is no fee for any application made under the Windrush Scheme. For any assistance with the application, please contact our specialist immigration team to schedule a consultation.
The Windrush Scheme: Advice for Employers and Landlords
The Home Office has also published some advice for employers and landlords who may be uncertain what to do if a prospective employee or tenant is part of the Windrush Generation and therefore does not have the requisite documents to show their right to work and right to rent in the UK. It is important for employers and landlords to carry out the sufficient checks on employees and tenants so they do not incur the penalties for failing to do so.
If a prospective tenant has lived in the UK permanently since before 1973 and has not been away for long periods in the last 30 years, they have the right to work and rent property. Employers and Landlords should contact the Home Office checking service immediately if they are concerned about a prospective employee or tenant’s ability to evidence their right to work or rent or if they have concerns about the checks they are required to undertake.
Who are the Windrush Generation?
The Windrush Generation refers to the Commonwealth citizens who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971. These Commonwealth citizens were encouraged to come to the UK to fill the countries labour shortages – such as bus drivers and nurses. Yet, when the Immigration Act 1971 (“the 1971 Act”) came into force, Commonwealth citizens lost their automatic right to remain in the UK and they faced the same restrictions as migrants from elsewhere.
For those who were already living in the UK, they were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain and for decades since then, many of the Windrush Generation considered themselves as British. However, at the time these Commonwealth citizens, mainly from the Caribbean, were not issued with the requisite documentation which demonstrates their right to be in the UK.
Using Legal Representation to submit an Application under the Windrush Scheme
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 a UK visa application.
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 UK visa 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 UK visa application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Windrush Scheme Applications
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 UK visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We 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. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful UK visa 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.