The Home Office values the contribution made to the UK by the Windrush generation and we are
committed to do right by those affected.
If you are a Commonwealth citizen who settled in the UK before 1973 but are currently overseas and want
to return, our dedicated team at the Home Office could help you.
We have launched a Windrush Scheme to make it easier for individuals to access support and understand
what is on offer.
If you are overseas you can apply online, free of charge, at www.gov.uk/windrush
If you need help or advice with your application you can call our dedicated helpline on 0800 678 1925. We
can arrange for you to ring freephone from a UK visa application centre, or email us and we will call you
back. The line is open Monday to Saturday between 9am to 5pm and Sunday between 10am to 4pm BST.
Our email address is email@example.com.
If required, you will be allocated a caseworker who will work with you to build a picture of your life in the
UK. We will work with other government departments to find your records if helpful.
We accept all sorts of documentation, including previous addresses, employment records, national
insurance numbers, birth and marriage certificates, bills and letters among others.
We will aim to process all online applications within 15 working days once all information has been
There is no fee for an application under the Windrush Scheme.
The Home Office is working to put in place a compensation scheme for Commonwealth citizens, including
the Windrush generation, who have faced difficulties in establishing their status under the immigration
A public consultation on the design of the compensation scheme will be announced in due course, which
can be accessed through gov.uk/windrush. We will be announcing details of the final scheme and how to
apply as soon as possible after the public consultation has ended.
In the meantime, should you wish to share your thoughts, you can email
Further information can be found at http://www.gov.uk/windrush, where you can also sign up to email alerts
to help you stay informed about Home Office announcements relating to Windrush.
I have already been through the taskforce, do I now need to apply under the Windrush Scheme?
No. Whilst we may require some additional information, the taskforce have your details and will be back in touch with you o take your case forward if necessary.
I’m a Commonwealth citizen who settled in the UK before 1973, but have since moved elsewhere. I want to return
to the UK, what do I need to do?
You can apply under the Windrush Scheme. We will consider if you have the Right of Abode and, if so, we will give you a certificate confirming this. If you are not eligible for this, but do want to return to the UK permanently, we will consider whether you meet the requirements for a Returning Resident under the Immigration Rules. However if you only want to visit the UK you may qualify for a visit visa under the immigration rules. You can find an outline of the routes and eligibility criteria, and also apply online, at www.gov.uk/windrush.
I am currently overseas but think I might have a right of abode in the UK. What do I need to do?
You may have a right of abode if you were a Commonwealth citizen on 31 December 1982 and one of your parents was born in the UK and a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies when you were born or adopted. You may also have right to abode through married if you’re a female Commonwealth citizen and were married to someone with right of abode before 1 January 1983. You can apply online or call our helpline and we will advise you.
My parent is a Commonwealth citizen who settled in the UK before 1973. I wasn’t born in the UK but did spend
some time there, however I am overseas now. Can I return to take up residency?
This Windrush Scheme is for Commonwealth citizens who have been lawfully settled in the UK for a significant period of time; or children of Commonwealth citizens who are resident in the UK. If you would like to return to the UK you can apply for a returning residence visa or visit visa through the normal routes.
Will I need to pay for my flights?
Yes. If you who have lived most of your life in the UK but then retired to live somewhere else we will enable you to return, either permanently or as a visitor, and your visa will be free of charge. However, you will be responsible for your travel costs.
What documents do I need to provide to prove my right to be in the UK?
We will work with you to help demonstrate you have lived in the UK for a long time. We accept all sorts of documentation.
We will also work with other government departments including Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to make sure we are doing all we can to help you get the documents you need.
Do I need a landing card to prove my status? Do I need four pieces of evidence for every year I lived in the UK?
We do not need to see definitive proof of the date you entered the UK or to see four pieces of evidence for every year you have lived here. If you contact the helpline, your caseworker will work with you to collate your records to demonstrate your life in the UK.
How long will it take for me to get my status confirmed?
You will be allocated a caseworker who will work with you to resolve your case. For online applicants from overseas, we
will aim to process your application in 15 working days once all information has been received.
How do I contact the helpline?
You can call our new dedicated helpline on 0800 678 1925. We can arrange for you to ring freephone from a UK visa
application centre, or email us and we will call you back. The line is open Monday to Saturday between 9am to 5pm and
Sunday between 10am to 4pm BST. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org; or you can
go to www.gov.uk/windrush for more information
How do I apply under the Windrush Scheme?
If you are overseas, you can apply online at gov.uk/Windrush or call our helpline.
I have started to apply online but I have questions about my application. Who can help?
You can call our dedicated helpline on 0800 678 1925. We can arrange for you to ring freephone from a UK visa
application centre, or email us and we will call you back. The line is open Monday to Saturday between 9am to 5pm and Sunday between 10am to 4pm BST. Our email address is email@example.com; or you can go to www.gov.uk/windrush for more information.
What will happen if I don’t apply under the Windrush Scheme?
We would encourage anyone who thinks they have been in the UK lawfully since before 1988 but doesn’t have
documentation to prove this to contact the taskforce.
What are biometrics and why do I need to give them?
Biometrics mean a photograph of your face and your fingerprints. This is a legal requirement for anyone applying for
citizenship or leave to remain, unless you are exempt. There is no fee for this.
Will I get a free passport?
The Windrush Scheme does not cover applications for a British passport. British citizens must pay for a passport and it would not be fair to existing British citizens to provide a free passport to those applying for British citizenship under the Windrush Scheme.
What counts as a Commonwealth country under this scheme?
There is a list available through www.gov.uk/windrush