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The Windrush Scandal: What Are My Rights?

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    The Windrush Scandal:

    The Windrush scandal has sent shockwaves through the British conscience, and with good reason. The UK government’s shambolic handling of the situation has put many individuals who are Commonwealth citizens invited to the country to fill vital jobs in danger of being deported. Between 1948 and 1971, thousands of individuals and families travelled to the UK from Caribbean countries to help the country to overcome its post-war skilled labour shortage. The term’ Windrush’ refers to one of the first ships to bring over Caribbean nationals to work in the UK, the Empire Windrush. In 1971 a new Immigration Act was passed, which allowed Commonwealth citizens, including members of the Windrush generation, who were already living in the UK indefinite leave to remain. Indefinite leave to remain is not the same as British Citizenship, but it does allow people to live and work in the UK without restriction. They can then apply for citizenship a year after they achieve settled status.

    What’s Happening To The Windrush Generation Now?

    While indefinite leave to remain allows an individual to live in the UK without restriction, many members of the Windrush generation weren’t given any official paperwork. To add to the confusion, in 2010 the Home Office destroyed the landing cards that recorded when individuals arrived in the UK while Theresa May was Home Secretary. Many individuals believed that the UK government viewed them as UK citizens. However, despite reassurance from the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd, in 2017 the British government started informing members of the Windrush generation that they needed proof of their indefinite leave to remain or British Citizenship before they could legally work, buy houses, or access NHS treatment. As a result of this scandal, members of the Windrush generation now face deportation and separation from the families and communities that they’ve known for most of their adult lives.

    What To Do If You’re Affected By The Windrush Scandal

    If the Home Office informs you that you do not have the right to live in the UK and that it intends to deport you, then the first thing that you need to do is contact an experienced immigration lawyer. The team at Immigration Status can talk you through the process of appealing your deportation and making sure that you are kept safe in the interim. If you have strong ties to the UK, such as a family and a house, then the Home Office is unlikely to deport you, as they have to consider this. However, it would help if you acted quickly to reduce your stress and get yourself the documentation you need to feel safe living in the UK. That’s why working with dedicated immigration lawyers like ours could make all the difference between a long, arduous, and stressful process and a simple, straightforward one. We will take care of liaising with the Home Office, and tracking down enough evidence to prove your right to indefinite leave to remain in the UK.  

    What Our Windrush Clients Have To Say

    At Immigration Status, we have experience successfully supporting people who are impacted by the Windrush scandal and helping them to avoid deportation and continue to live and work in the UK. One of our recent successful cases involved Vanessa, who spoke of how happy she was with our service and the support we gave her to help her get her settlement documents after a lengthy struggle. “This has been a difficult battle for me. I think initially the issue was my fault- I did lose some documents- but also there was evidence that the Home Office did have documents and, perhaps, they were unwilling to provide confirmation that I had the right to live in the UK. As such, the process has been very difficult for me. “When I first heard about the Windrush scandal, it was something that I knew about, but I never thought that it would affect me. To think now I’ve seen documentaries about it and I’ve heard other people discuss it, it’s very real for me. It’s different when you see something on TV and think ‘that’s awful’, but when it happens to you and people you know, it’s shocking. “It’s scary to think that someone who’s been here since the age of 11 months old, and who has been paying taxes and doing things to benefit this country, could suddenly have everything taken away. I was a baby when I arrived here; I know only England. So this whole experience has been really shocking and frightening. “I’m so happy to have received my settled status documents, with the help of Immigration Status. I’m going to celebrate with my children. I know that as difficult as this was for me, many others have had a much harder experience, and I hope that they seek advice and get the help that they need. Thank you to Immigration Status for the support and helping me to achieve settled status.” Vanessa’s case is just one of many success stories that we have under our belt because our experienced team offers our clients a personal service so that we can understand what they need and give it to them.   Our team is eager to ensure these injustices are righted, which is why we will work tirelessly on behalf of anyone affected by the Windrush scandal who face deportation and don’t know how to prove their right to settled status.

    Contact Us And We’ll Support You Through The Process

    Being caught up in such a confusing situation can be stressful, but Immigration Status is here to help. Our team is here to advise and support anyone affected by the Windrush scandal who needs guidance or representation. The UK might feel like a hostile environment right now, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. We are committed to supporting you and offering you the advice and representation you need to stay in the UK and achieve settled status and, eventually, British Citizenship. If the UK government is threatening you with deportation, and you know that you have the right to remain in the UK, then get in touch with us today, and we’ll explore your options and give you personalised support that meets your unique needs. For more information or advice about British Citizenship and Naturalisation in the UK please click here.
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