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This compensation scheme (“the Scheme”) is designed to compensate individuals who have suffered loss in connection with being unable to demonstrate their lawful status in the United Kingdom. Those most affected are often referred to as the “Windrush Generation”. This name refers to the “Empire Windrush”, one of the first ships that brought workers from Caribbean islands to the United Kingdom in 1948, in response to labour shortages following the Second World War. The Scheme is not limited by reference to those connected to that ship or those with a family connection to the Caribbean. For those most affected, their lawful right to stay in the United Kingdom stems from arriving and settling in the United Kingdom, mainly but not exclusively from Commonwealth countries, before 1 January 1973. In these cases, the right to stay in the United Kingdom derives directly from the Immigration Act 1971 without the need for any documentation. However, the Scheme is open to any eligible person who arrived in the United Kingdom before 1988 from any country who is lawfully in the United Kingdom. In certain cases, individuals based overseas may also be able to claim. The Scheme is also open to close family members of those groups.
1.2 There is no single or consistent picture of the loss suffered by those affected. The Scheme has been designed to address potential losses under a range of categories and to take into account the impact of the losses in each case, as far as possible.
1.3 The Scheme will be open for claims to be made from 3 April 2019 and there is no closing date.
The Windrush Compensation Scheme was established by the UK government to compensate individuals who were wrongly affected by the Windrush scandal. The scheme aims to provide financial compensation and support to those who faced difficulties in proving their immigration status and suffered as a result.
How Do You Become Eligible Under the Wind Rush Scheme?
To be eligible for the Windrush Compensation Scheme, individuals must meet certain criteria, which typically include the following:
Proving your arrival in the UK before 1 January 1973: Generally, you need to demonstrate that you arrived in the UK from a Commonwealth country before this date. However, the scheme may also consider people who arrived after this date if they have valid reasons for not having documents to prove their status.
Proving continuous residence in the UK: You will be required to show that you have continuously lived in the UK since your arrival or provide evidence of your previous residence and reasons for any absences.
Proving lawful residence: You must demonstrate that you had the right to reside in the UK, either by having Indefinite Leave to Remain, Right of Abode, or any other immigration status that allowed you to live and work in the UK without restriction.
Demonstrating adverse impacts: You need to provide evidence of the adverse impacts you faced as a result of not being able to prove your immigration status. These impacts can include difficulties in accessing employment, healthcare, housing, education, and other public services, as well as instances of detention or deportation.
Submitting necessary documentation: The scheme requires applicants to provide relevant documentation and evidence to support their claims. This can include passport stamps, employment records, educational records, medical records, correspondence, and other official documents.
It is important to note that each case is considered individually, and the Windrush Compensation Scheme takes into account various factors and circumstances. If you believe you may be eligible, it is recommended to visit the official UK government website or contact the dedicated Windrush Compensation Scheme helpline for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the requirements and application process.
What Are The Positive Reasons For Applying Under The Windrush Scheme?
The Windrush Scheme, established by the UK government, has several positive points aimed at addressing the injustices faced by individuals affected by the Windrush scandal. Some of the positive aspects of the scheme include:
- Compensation for individuals affected: The primary objective of the Windrush Scheme is to provide financial compensation to those who suffered as a result of being wrongly affected by the Windrush scandal. This compensation can help individuals rebuild their lives and address the hardships they faced.
- Recognition of past injustices: The establishment of the Windrush Scheme signifies that the UK government acknowledges the injustices and hardships experienced by the Windrush generation and their descendants. It recognizes the mistakes made in the implementation of immigration policies and seeks to provide redress for the harm caused.
- Support and assistance: The scheme provides support and assistance to affected individuals throughout the application process. Dedicated helplines, caseworkers, and advisers are available to help applicants understand the requirements, gather necessary documentation, and navigate the complexities of the scheme.
- Fast-track citizenship and immigration status: In addition to compensation, the Windrush Scheme offers assistance to individuals in obtaining or regularizing their immigration status. This includes providing a fast-track process for those who are eligible for citizenship, ensuring they can secure their rights and access to public services.
- Reimbursement for fees: The scheme also covers reimbursement for certain fees incurred by affected individuals, such as fees for citizenship applications, immigration status documentation, and other related expenses. This helps alleviate the financial burden faced by those affected.
- Commitment to learning from past mistakes: The establishment of the Windrush Scheme demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to learning from the mistakes of the past and implementing measures to prevent similar injustices in the future. It signifies a willingness to rectify the systemic issues that led to the Windrush scandal and ensure a fair and just immigration system.
It’s worth noting that the specific details and effectiveness of the Windrush Scheme may vary, and it’s important to refer to Shabana Shahab for up-to-date information on the scheme and its positive impacts.