I wish to inform the House that I am today introducing changes to the dedicated immigration policy for residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell walk.
First, I am extending the dedicated immigration policy for survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The extension will allow survivors who have not yet come forward to do so by 31 January 2018. Providing survivors with an additional opportunity to come forward to regularise their immigration status is consistent with the Government’s objective to ensure all those directly affected receive the support they need.
Second, having reviewed the impact of the policy over the last four months, I have also decided to extend its scope to enable any Grenfell survivor with valid leave in another category to switch into the dedicated leave outside the rules policy by 31 January 2018. Individuals will no longer need to demonstrate that their leave is due to expire in the next 12 months or that they cannot qualify under another immigration route in order to be eligible under the Grenfell Tower immigration policy. They may wish to seek independent legal advice as to whether switching or remaining in their existing immigration route is the best option for them.
Finally, I have carefully considered the issue of access to public funds and I would like to provide reassurance to those who have leave in another category, such as family or work, but who qualified under the Grenfell Tower immigration policy for a change of conditions. I am announcing today that they will continue to have recourse to public funds and permission to work for as long as they qualify for leave to remain in the UK.
I hope this announcement provides further reassurance that the welfare of those directly affected by the fire is the Government’s top priority. Anyone who has not yet come forward can do so before 31 January 2018 by calling our Home Office Grenfell Team on 0208 196 4531 and arranging an appointment to speak to a member of our dedicated team in person.
Revised guidance with further details on the Grenfell Tower immigration policy which reflect today’s announcement will be published in due course.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: