Guidance for undocumented Commonwealth citizens

This information is for Commonwealth citizens (known as ‘Windrush’ cases) who are long-term residents of the UK and do not have documents to demonstrate their status. This page is not a substitute for immigration advice. To get legal advice, you can complete our free assessment form by clicking here

When considering whether you come in within the policy, here are important key elements to consider:

  1. If you have lived in the UK permanently since before 1973 and have not been away for long periods in the last 30 years, you have the right to be here.
  2. If you came to the UK during the 1970s but after 1 January 1973 then you are not likely to have an automatic right to be here. However, you may be allowed to stay here permanently.

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.

To get legal advice, call us on 0207 237 3388 or email our team on