20th April 2018

‘Windrush Generation’ Information

Written by Alicja Zalesinska

People who arrived as children from Commonwealth Countries between nineteen-forty-eight and the early seventies are being referred to as the ‘Windrush Generation’.

Due to the impact of conditions in the last two Immigration Acts in 2014 and 2016, some people from this generation are unable to access employment, healthcare and benefits, the latter specifically when living in an area where Universal Credit has been rolled out.

On Monday 17th April the media reported that the Secretary of State for the Home Office Amber Rudd has acknowledged the mistakes made, which was acknowledged by the Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday 18th April.

The Home Office has provided a dedicated website for people from the ‘Windrush generation’:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/undocumented-commonwealth-citizens-resident-in-the-uk/undocumented-commonwealth-citizens-resident-in-the-uk

People affected will need to have their status confirmed via application process. However, this does not currently explain the criteria for required documents and where to seek support while the decision is pending. Latest information indicates that the process shouldn’t take longer than two weeks.

It is therefore recommended that if you are aware of people from the ‘Windrush generation’ who have experienced problems or may do in the future, please strongly advise them to seek contact with their local MP in first instance – this is currently the fastest route to get problems resolved.

People can find their local MP here: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/


**UPDATE**

The UK Government has provided information for Commonwealth citizens who are long-term residents of the UK and do not have documents to demonstrate their status. Government is very keen to get information out via councils, and councils in turn may be being approached with queries from individuals and communities. There is now a website for more information including the current position and what individuals can do next.

Individuals can also contact a dedicated taskforce via 0800 678 1925 or commonwealthtaskforce@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. The new contact centre will provide advice via 50 caseworkers appointed across the country.

The former Home Secretary gave a statement on 23 April 2018 which confirmed that anyone from the Windrush generation can become a British citizen and that the Government will waive all fees for British citizenship applications. The No Resource to Public Funds Network has also produced a guide for local authorities on what needs to be considered when an undocumented Commonwealth citizen requests help with housing and/or has social care needs.

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