In recent weeks, a number of people have approached me about a rumour that the Home Office is granting an amnesty for migrants in the UK.
The message, which is circulating on Whatsapp, reads as follows:
“I just want to pass a message in case someone here in UK knows someone who knows a person with no papers UK Visa Indefinite Leave to Remain. A Lawyer said UK Home Office are issuing Visas in silence as a brief amnesty to those who have been living in the UK with no papers for past 10 years. SEE ATTACHED HOME OFFICE APPLICATION FORM.”
The message comes with a link to the SET (P) application form (the form used for settlement by those living in the UK for 5 years with refugee leave to remain or humanitarian protection.)
A longer version of the message provides specific details of what to ignore on the form and what documents to include with the application.
It also states that the amnesty is being granted as a result of Windrush and Brexit.
So are the rumours true?
Has the Home Office had a sudden change of heart about those with no legal residence in the UK?
The answer in short is ‘No’.
It is, to use the now notorious expression, ‘Fake News’.
There is no amnesty.
The Home Office is not secretly granting indefinite leave to remain in the UK based on sending a SET (P).
However, nevertheless there are some unscrupulous individuals who are charging individuals £40-£45 to complete the form.
It is not clear whether they are qualified to provide immigration advice or just capitalising on the rumour and people’s desperation.
It is not clear where the rumour started but it may be related to an online petition from earlier this year calling for the government to grant an amnesty for “illegal immigrants who have been in the UK for 10 years.”
Over 45,000 people signed the petition but the government’s response was very clear:
“There are no plans to grant an amnesty to illegal migrants. Our immigration policies are based on principles of fairness to legal migrants and not rewarding those who do not abide by the Rules.”
If you do receive this message, please
- Do not act upon it.
- Do not forward it.
- Do reply to the sender that it is a hoax.
Visadreams.com, Diary of an Immigration Lawyer, is a blog run by Fahad Ansari, a solicitor based in London specialising in UK immigration and nationality law. If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your details here.