Af­ter 35 years, where can I turn?

Jamaica Gleaner - - IMMIGRATIO­N CORNER - John Bassie John S. Bassie is a bar­ris­ter/at­tor­neyat-law who prac­tises law in Ja­maica. He is a jus­tice of the peace, a Supreme Court-ap­pointed me­di­a­tor, a Fel­low of the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Ar­bi­tra­tors, a char­tered ar­bi­tra­tor and a mem­ber of the Im­mi­gra

Dear Mr Bassie,

IAM liv­ing in the United King­dom (UK) with my par­ents without any pa­pers since 1985. Is there any­thing that can be done to reg­u­larise my sta­tus as I am des­per­ately in need of help, and I do not know where to turn.

– C.C.

Dear C.C.,

Per­sons who are set­tled in the United King­dom but do not have a doc­u­ment to prove it, may be el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply to the ‘Win­drush scheme’.

They may be able to ap­ply for a doc­u­ment to prove that they can live and work in the United King­dom, if one of the fol­low­ing is true:

The per­son came to the United King­dom from a Com­mon­wealth coun­try be­fore 1973;

The per­son’s par­ents came to the United King­dom from a Com­mon­wealth coun­try be­fore 1973;

The per­son came to the United King­dom from any coun­try be­fore De­cem­ber 31, 1988 and are now set­tled there. Please note that it is free to ap­ply. Per­sons might also be en­ti­tled to ap­ply for cit­i­zen­ship for free if they are a Com­mon­wealth cit­i­zen who set­tled in the United King­dom be­fore Jan­uary 1, 1973, or the per­son is the child of some­one who did.

For the pur­poses of an­swer­ing this ques­tion, I will as­sume that the lat­ter of the three sit­u­a­tions ap­plies to your case. If a per­son’s par­ents came to the United King­dom from a Com­mon­wealth coun­try be­fore 1973, then please see di­rec­tions on how to pro­ceed on the Bri­tish Home Of­fice web­site.

Per­sons who ar­rived be­fore 1989 can ap­ply for a doc­u­ment to prove that they can live and work in Bri­tain if they went to live in the United King­dom be­fore De­cem­ber 31, 1988 and are now set­tled there. Those per­sons can be of any na­tion­al­ity, and they should con­tact the Win­drush helpline for help with work­ing out if they are el­i­gi­ble.

If per­sons be­lieve that they are el­i­gi­ble, they should make their ap­pli­ca­tions to the Home Of­fice, which will work with other gov­ern­ment de­part­ments to find any records of the ap­pli­cant liv­ing in the United King­dom. Please note that the Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties have stated that none of the ap­pli­cant’s in­for­ma­tion will be shared with im­mi­gra­tion- en­force­ment teams.

If per­sons are liv­ing in the United King­dom, they can ap­ply us­ing the Win­drush scheme ap­pli­ca­tion form (UK). Per­sons should mail their ap­pli­ca­tion to the ad­dress on the form with their sup­port­ing doc­u­ments. Per­son should con­tact the Win­drush Task Force if they need a pa­per form sent to them. Win­drush Task Force com­mon­wealth­task­force@home­of­fice. gsi.gov.uk

Tele­phone: 0800 678 1925 Mon­day to Fri­day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Satur­day and Sun­day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If per­sons are out­side the United King­dom, they must ap­ply us­ing an on­line form. Please note that with re­spect to a fee, the ap­pli­ca­tion is free. Per­sons should be aware that the Win­drush Task Force will get in touch with them if they have any ques­tions about the ap­pli­ca­tion, or if they need more in­for­ma­tion. Ap­pli­cants will be asked to pro­vide their fin­ger­prints and photo, this is called ‘bio­met­ric in­for­ma­tion’, once they have sent in the form. Please be aware that ap­pli­cants will not have to pay any­thing to do this.

If fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or as­sis­tance is needed, per­sons should con­tact the Win­drush helpline. The de­tails are stated above. Out­side of the helpline open­ing hours, per­sons can leave a mes­sage to ask for their call to be re­turned at a con­ve­nient time.

I hope this helps.

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