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UK Gov issues guidance to protect Windrush Generation and non-EEA Nationals
The new systems aim to help employers and landlords who are working with those who have a legal right to live in the UK but no documentation
Today, the UK Government issued guidance for Employers and Landlords which could support individuals caught up in recent immigration scandals relating to the "Windrush Generation" and non-EEA (European Economic Area) Nationals. A number of citizens who have a right to live in the UK have found their immigration status brought into question, sometimes due to a lack of documentation on their long term right to residency.
The two papers released by the Home Office today introduce two new online systems, an Employer Checking Service and a Landlord Checking Service, which will help Employers and Landlords to work with individuals who have a right to work / rent in the UK but do not currently have the correct documentation. The systems are intended to support job applicants and prospective tenants who "lived in the UK permanently since before 1973" and have "not been abroad for long periods within the last 30 years." The Government's advice goes on to assert that "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 if they apply to the Home Office now they may be allowed to stay here permanently and have the right to work". In terms of prospective tenants, "If a prospective tenant came to the UK after 1 January 1973 but before 1988, that individual might not have an automatic right to live in the UK, but if they apply to the Home Office now they may be allowed to stay here permanently and have the right to rent."
In February, The American magazine reported on the case of Willow Sims, a US born citizen who has lived in the UK since childhood. Ellie Reeves MP, Ms Sims' Member of Parliament, explained that "My constituent Willow Sims came to the UK in the early 1980s and spent part of her childhood in the UK care system ... In October, Willow came to see me. She had failed some immigration checks at work, so she lost her job and her recourse to public funds." On the surface, these new systems could help US Citizens as well as other non-EEA citizens to avoid the severe scenario and unfair disadvantage that Ms Sims found herself in at no fault of her own.
The news comes after the Government also introduced a new Windrush Compensation Scheme which eligible US citizens should also be able to apply to.