After 35 years, where can I turn?
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.
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.