The Home Secretary has today (Monday 16 April) announced a new team to help Commonwealth citizens confirm their status in the UK.
A dedicated team will help individuals identify and gather evidence to confirm their existing right to be in the UK. The team will include a dedicated contact point and aim to resolve cases within 2 weeks once the evidence has been put together. In addition, no one affected will be charged the application fee.
Statement made by the Home Secretary to Parliament
I would like to thank the Honourable Member for Tottenham for raising this question and giving me the chance to build on what I have already told the House this afternoon.
I recognise the concern from some people in the Windrush generation.
And I wouldn't want anyone who has made their life in the UK to feel unwelcome or be in any doubt of their right to remain here. As my Rt Hon Friend, the Prime Minister has already made clear, there is absolutely no question about their right to remain and I am very sorry for any confusion or anxiety felt.
While the vast majority of people who came here before 1973 will already have the documentation that proves their rights to be in the UK, I know that some do not.
I know that there are those who have never applied for a passport in their own name or had their immigration status formalised.
That’s why today I am announcing a new dedicated team that will be set up to help these people evidence their right to be here and to access the necessary services.
This team will help these applicants demonstrate they are entitled to live in the UK and will be tasked with resolving cases within two weeks of when the evidence has been provided.
Of course no one should be left out of pocket as they go through this process, and so given the uniqueness of the situation this group find themselves in, I intend to ensure that this group will not pay for this documentation.
We’ve set up a webpage and have been speaking to charities, community groups and High Commissioners about providing advice and reassurance to those affected and we will set up a dedicated contact point as well.
Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will meet with Heads of Government and I will be meeting the High Commissioners this week to discuss this issue as a matter of urgency.
I hope this will provide people with the reassurance they need.