The schemes detailed by the Home Office include:
- A dedicated Windrush Scheme to process citizenship applications for Commonwealth nationals in the UK and their families.
- A new compensation scheme to be put in place following a 12 week consultation to ensure anyone who has been affected can have their say.
- Plans for community surgeries to allow affected individuals to talk in confidence to Home Office staff.
- An internal review to investigate the issues that have been faced by the Windrush generation, overseen by an Independent Advisor.
The full details can be found below in the following briefing from the Home Office. For more information, please visit http://www.gov.uk/windrush, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the dedicated help line on 0800 678 1925.
The Home Office values the contribution made to the UK by ‘Windrush generation’ including Commonwealth citizens and we are committed to do right by those affected.
The Home Office has announced a dedicated Windrush Scheme to make it easier for individuals to access support and understand what is on offer.
The scheme enables the Government to process citizenship applications for Commonwealth nationals in the UK who settled in the UK before 1973, free of charge. This includes free citizenship applications for children of Commonwealth citizens who settled in the UK before 1973, where the child joined their parents before they turned 18; and free confirmation of the existing British citizenship for children born to the Windrush generation in the UK where needed.
If you are applying for citizenship under this scheme you will need to meet the good character requirements in place for all citizenship applications but will not need to take the knowledge of language and life in the UK test or attend a citizenship ceremony.
The scheme also covers the government’s commitment to help members of the Windrush generation, who have spent recent years in their home countries, to return to the UK free of charge.
You can apply using a form available on gov.uk/windrush.
If you need advice or guidance with your application you can call our dedicated helpline on freephone 0800 678 1925. The line is open Monday to Saturday between 9am to 5pm and Sunday between 10am to 4pm, or you can email email@example.com.
If required, you will be allocated a caseworker who will work with you to build a picture of your life in the UK. We will work with other government departments to find your records if helpful. We accept all sorts of documentation, including previous addresses, employment records, national insurance numbers, birth and marriage certificates, bills and letters among others.
There are no fees for any applications made under the Windrush Scheme and no information provided in relation to an application under the Windrush Scheme will be passed on to immigration enforcement.
Compensation scheme consultation
Together with independent advisor Martin Forde QC, we are working to put in place a compensation scheme for the Windrush generation and Commonwealth citizens, who have faced difficulties in establishing their lawful status under the immigration system.
We want to put in place a compensation scheme as quickly and as carefully as possible, to put things right for the people who have suffered – through no fault of their own – as a result of measures that are in place to tackle illegal immigration.
To get the compensation scheme right we need to listen; and so we have launched a 12 week consultation to ensure anyone who has been affected can have their say and help us shape the scheme.
The consultation will close on 11 October.
A 4-week call for evidence was the first step to listen to those affected, before engaging on the details of the scheme. We had 650 responses that helped to inform the issues we are now consulting on.
The consultation covers three core elements: who should be eligible for compensation; what losses should be compensated for; and how the process should work.
We want to hear from the widest possible range of voices, including those affected and their families, community groups and specialist legal representatives.
People will be able to respond to the consultation:
- Online at www.gov.uk/windrush
- Over the phone through freephone 0800 678 1925.
- Via post – individuals can request a postal copy at www.gov.uk/windrush
- At dedicated events set up to allow affected individuals to speak to us face to face.
The final scheme will be announced as soon as possible after the end of the consultation.
Martin Forde QC is providing independent oversight of this stage of the design of the compensation scheme. He will ensure that the interests of those affected will be properly represented and reflected in the scheme.
More information on the call for evidence can be found at www.gov.uk/windrush.
Ways to get involved
In addition to the taskforce, we are delivering community surgeries to offer individuals concerned about their status the opportunity to talk in confidence to Home Office staff, and request support to resolve their case. We are asking community groups to support us in hosting these events. If you are interested in assisting this initiative, please email us at WindrushSurgeries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
Compensation scheme consultation
A consultation on the design of the compensation scheme was launched in July and will run for 12 weeks until 11 October. The consultation covers three core elements: who should be eligible for compensation; what losses should be compensated for; and how the process should work. It is open to those who have suffered loss or difficulty as a result of not being able to prove their status in the UK as well as friends, family and representatives of those affected. As soon as possible after the consultation has closed, we will be announcing details of the final scheme and how to apply.
The Home Secretary has commissioned an internal review that will seek to draw out how members of the Windrush generation came to be entangled in measures designed for illegal immigrants; why that was not spotted sooner; and whether the right corrective measures are now in place. The review will be overseen by an Independent Advisor.
If you would like to provide evidence, please email WindrushLessonsLearned@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
Further information can be found at http://www.gov.uk/windrush where you can also sign up to stay informed about Home Office announcements relating to Windrush.