Have you been granted settled status in the UK under the Windrush Scheme, or are you the child of someone who has?
Have you been separated from children, a partner, or dependent relatives as the result of settling in the UK under the Windrush Scheme?
Did you have children abroad at a time when the Home Office should have recognised your lawful immigration status in the UK?
If any of the above questions relate to your circumstances, we may be able to help.
On 16 October 2019, we issued a challenge in the High Court to the Secretary of State for the Home Department for refusing to consider our client’s application for her family to join her in the UK under the Windrush Scheme.
We believe that the Home Office is acting unlawfully in requiring people to separate from their family members in order to take up a grant of leave under the scheme. We also believe that family members of people who have been granted status under the Windrush scheme should have access to the benefits of the scheme including fee-free applications and leave to enter and remain in the UK.
The Home Office has accepted its historic failure to properly recognise and record the lawful immigration status of members of the Windrush generation. It has said it wants to right the wrongs that it committed. The scheme that the Home Office has designed to regularise people’s immigration status, only extends to children of people who are granted status in very limited circumstances. Crucially, this does not include children who were born outside the UK if they did not come to the UK before they were 18 years old. We have argued that this is a breach of the rights to private and family life of the person granted status under the scheme, and any family members from whom they have been forcibly separated.
The scheme also applies a strict reading of nationality law, and the Home Office has refused countless applications for British citizenship from people who were granted settled status under the scheme. This strict reading of nationality law fails to take into account the fact that people lawfully settled in the UK may not have applied for British citizenship because they did not realise that this was possible, and because their lawful status was never properly recorded or communicated to them.
If your lawful settled status was recognised under Windrush, but your application for citizenship was refused, we may also be able to help.
Given the Home Office’s position, it will now fall to the Courts to decide whether the Home Office is acting lawfully in the circumstances.
If you have faced similar problems, we want to hear from you. Please get in touch with public law caseworker Jeremy Bloom by email to email@example.com or by phone on 0203 114 1260.
Legal aid (public funding) is available subject to your financial situation, and the merits of your case.
Our legal team working on this challenge is led by Toufique Hossain
, Director of Public Law, with Jeremy Bloom
, Caseworker from our Harrow based public law team, and Chris Buttler from Matrix Chambers as counsel.