Windrush: UK citizenship fees and language tests waived


UK citizenship tolls and language tests will be waived for the Windrush generation and their family trees, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said.

She told MPs she wanted people to prepare the «formal status» they should have had all along, without having to pay naturalisation tariffs or pass any tests.

She also vowed speedy compensation for anyone who had «suffered destruction».

Labour said the «buck stopped» with Ms Rudd for a crisis which had took «shame» on the government.

In a statement to Parliament, Ms Rudd she also said the citizenship suggest would apply not just to the families of Caribbean migrants who came to the UK between 1948 and 1973 but anyone from other Commonwealth domains who settled in the UK over the same period.

  • Who are the Windrush generation?
  • ‘I’m an Englishman’: Windrush fibs

Ms Rudd apologised again for changes to immigration rules — dubbed the «anti environment» policy — which she said had had a «unintended and devastating» impact on the Windrush beginning.

While the public expected immigration rules to be enforced, she said it had conditions been the intention for a crackdown on illegal immigration to affect those who were «British in all but their statutory status».

«This should never have happened,» she told MPs. «We trouble to show a human face to how we work and exercise greater judgement where it is defended.»

By the BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith

After days of hurt headlines and repeated apologies, the home secretary sought to draw a fringe a organize under this scandal with a series of significant concessions.

Though, Amber Rudd sparked anger on the opposition benches after she proffered the scandal was the result of successive changes to immigration rules by governments dating assist to the 1980s.

While some of the detail surrounding the policy changes sooner a be wearing yet be spelt out — ministers will hope that they have done sufficient to correct the mistakes that have been made and to assuage widespread communal anger at the treatment of the Windrush families.

She said she wanted to give the Windrush formulation the formal immigration status they «should have had a long lifetime ago» by encouraging those who were not UK citizens to apply to become so.

All fees, dialect and citizenship tests connected with the naturalisation process would be ceded and anyone who had left the UK but been prevented from coming back hand down now be helped to do so, without any fees.

The offer will apply to those who already enjoy leave to remain, those who do have the paperwork usually required as equably as children of the Windrush generation.

«In effect this means anyone from the Windrush production who now wants to become a British citizen will be able to do so,» she said.

Ms Rudd asserted nine residency cases had been settled by a special Home Organization team set up to deal with the crisis while 84 individuals had had trysts made.

‘Let down’

All Home Office records dating back to 2002 would be checked to see if anyone had been wrongly deported, she told MPs, summing that no cases had been identified so far with about 50% of papers verified.

She added: «The state has let these people down, travel particularizes denied, exclusions of returning to the UK, benefits cut and threats to deport. This has betid for some time.

«I will put this right an where people bear suffered loss, they will be compensated.

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«None of this can undo the pain already endured, but I hope it establishes the government’s commitment to put these wrongs right going forward.»

Covering Home Secretary Diane Abbott said the scandal «should not be enduring been a surprise» to ministers, given the warnings they had received, and uttered Ms Rudd «ultimately buck stops» with her.

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«She is behaving as if it is a shock to her that officials are implementing regulations in the way she intended them to be accomplished,» she said.

While she welcomed the promise of compensation, she said there was a want of detail and the sums should «reflect the damage to family life» suffered by species and not be «token».

Reflecting on her families’ personal experience, she said: «This was a crop with unparalleled commitment to this country, unparalleled pride in being British, unequalled commitment to hard work and contributing to society. It is shameful this command has treated this generation in this way.»

And Labour’s David Lammy, a paramount campaigner for justice for Windrush families, said they were being offered something which was already their valid. He called on ministers to help others who also made their vitality in the UK after World War Two but who might not get equal treatment.

«They are from hinterlands like Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda,» he disclosed.

«Many of these people have temporary leave to remain or indeterminable leave to remain. It is unfair. They were born under Empire.»

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