If you are settled in the UK but do not have a document to prove it, you may be eligible to apply to the Windrush Scheme and Windrush Compensation Scheme

It is free to apply.

More information: Windrush: applicant information

Windrush Scheme

The Windrush Scheme enables the Government to process citizenship applications for Commonwealth nationals in the UK who settled in the UK before 1973, free of charge. This includes:

  • free citizenship applications for children of Commonwealth citizens who settled in the UK before 1973, where the child joined their parents before they turned 18
  • free confirmation of the existing British citizenship for children born to the Windrush generation in the UK where needed.

If you apply for citizenship under this scheme you need to meet the good character requirements in place for all citizenship applications, but do not need to take the knowledge of language and life in the UK test or attend a citizenship ceremony.

The scheme also covers the government's commitment to help members of the Windrush generation, who have spent recent years in their home countries, to return to the UK free of charge.

If you become a British citizen under the Windrush scheme you can choose if you want to attend a citizenship ceremony. You will not have to pay the fee.

How to apply to the Windrush Scheme

You may be able to apply for a document to prove you can live and work in the UK if one of the following is true:

You might also be entitled to apply for citizenship for free if you are a Commonwealth citizen who settled in the UK before 1 January 1973, or you are the child of someone who did.

Windrush Scheme application form

Windrush Compensation Scheme

You may be able to claim compensation if you suffered losses because you could not show that you had a right to live in the UK.

Losses can be things like not being able to work, find a place to live or get health treatment. They can also include immigration action, like detention or removal from the UK.

How to apply to the Windrush Compensation Scheme

You can apply if:

You can also apply if you are:

  • the close family member of someone eligible to claim and you have had significant losses yourself
  • representing the estate of someone who would have been eligible
Apply to the Windrush Compensation Scheme
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