© Crown copyright 2018
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/undocumented-commonwealth-citizens-resident-in-the-uk/guidance-for-employers-conducting-right-to-work-checks-on-undocumented-commonwealth-citizens
This information sets out what the Home Office will do to help employers wishing to offer a job to Commonwealth citizens (known as ‘Windrush’ cases) who have the legal right to live in the UK but do not have the documents to prove it.
1. Status and right to work
If a job applicant has lived in the UK permanently since before 1973 and has not been abroad for long periods in the last 30 years, they have the legal right to live and work here.
If a job applicant came to the UK after 1 January 1973 but before 1988, then they might not have an automatic right to be here, but they may be allowed to stay here permanently and they do have the right to work.
2. What you should do
There are 2 ways that the Home Office can help:
1) Please get in touch with the Home Office employer enquiry helpline if you are concerned about either a job applicant’s ability to evidence their right to work or the checks you are required to undertake. We will review individual cases and give you the confidence to employ someone who has the legal right to be here but does not have the documents to prove it.
Employer Enquiry helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 5434
Monday to Thursday: 9am to 4:45pm
Friday: 9am to 4:30pm
2) Please ask prospective employees who cannot evidence their right to work to get in contact with the Commonwealth taskforce in the Home Office so we can help them obtain the necessary documents to prove their status in the UK.
Freephone: 0800 678 1925
Monday to Saturday: 9am to 5pm
Sunday: 10am to 4pm
Home Office announcements relating to Commonwealth citizens, including the Windrush generation
next steps for those affected, including the compensation scheme and lessons learned review
3. Home Secretary statement to Parliament (April 2018)
On 23 April 2018, the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, made a statement to Parliament about new measures to establish a permanent and sustainable solution for members of the Windrush generation who have been in the country for decades but found themselves unable to evidence their legal right to remain in the UK.
Amber Rudd announced that the Home Office will:
waive the citizenship fee for anyone in the Windrush generation who wishes to apply for citizenship – this applies to those who have no current documentation, and also to those who have it
waive the requirement to carry out a Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK test
waive the fee for the children of the Windrush generation who are in the UK who need to apply for naturalisation
ensure that those who made their lives here but have now retired to their country of origin, are able to come back to the UK – the cost of any fees associated with this process will be waived
be setting up a new scheme to compensate people who have suffered loss – this will be run by an independent person
establish a new customer contact centre, so anyone who is struggling to navigate the many different immigration routes can speak to a person and get appropriate advice
ensure that people who arrived after 1973 but before 1988 can also access the dedicated Windrush team so they can access the support and assistance needed to establish their claim to be here legally