News story

New form of leave for children transferred during Calais clearance to join family

The government has announced a new form of leave for children transferred to the UK to reunite with their families during the Calais camp clearance in 2016.

The unique situation in Calais in 2016 led to the government taking decisive action to remove vulnerable children from a dangerous situation where they were at risk of violence, abuse and trafficking.

As part the UK’s support for the clearance of the Calais camp, 769 unaccompanied children were transferred from France to the UK. 549 of these children were transferred to reunite with family members already in the UK.

However, some of the children do not qualify for international protection under existing immigration rules, but the government is clear that all those transferred from Calais to reunite with their family members should be able to remain here and that is why a new form of leave will be created.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:

We can be proud of our record of helping refugee and other vulnerable children affected by conflict, violence and instability, since the start of 2010 we have provided asylum or an alternative form of protection to over 31,000 children.

I am determined that we continue in these efforts and that is why we are introducing a new form of leave, exclusively for children brought to the UK from the Calais camp, so that they can continue rebuilding their lives with their families in the UK.

Calais Leave will grant those who qualify the right to study, work, access public funds and healthcare, and apply for settlement after ten years.

It will only be available to those brought over as part of the Calais clearance exercise between October 2016 and July 2017, who were under the age of 18 at this time, and who had recognised family ties in the UK.

Subject to Parliamentary procedure, this rule change will take effect in the autumn of 2018.

Published 13 September 2018