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Windrush gen won’t have to pass citizenship test or pay fee

SCANDAL: Home secretary Amber Rudd has revealed the Home Office's latest plans to resolve the Windrush immigration scandal

CARIBBEAN-BORN UK residents affected by the Windrush immigration scandal won’t have to pay a fee to apply for citizenship, or pass the citizenship test, the home secretary has said.

Amber Rudd, who has faced calls to resign, made the announcement in the House of Commons today.

Rudd said: “It’s abundantly clear that everyone considers people who came in the Windrush generation to be British but under the current rules this is not the case.”

She described those affected as British in all but legal status and said she wanted to enable those affected to acquire the status they deserve – British citizenship – quickly, at no cost and with proactive assistance through the process.

In line with Immigration Act of 1971, those who came to the UK from the Commonwealth prior to 1973 were not required to obtain any paperwork to secure indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. However, subsequent immigration policies introduced by the government revealed their lack of adequate paperwork to prove their status in accordance with modern legislation, and as a result, many faced deportation.

Rudd admitted that steps intended to combat illegal migration have had an “unintended and sometimes devastating impact on people from the Windrush generation who were here legally”.

The home secretary announced that under her plans to resolve the situation urgently, members of the Windrush generation applying for citizenship would not have to pay the fee or take the citizenship test, which requires applicants to demonstrate knowledge of language and life in the UK.

The changes mean that anyone from the Windrush generation who wants to become a British citizen will be able to become one, regardless of their ability to produce the documentation usually required.

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