Foreign survivors of Grenfell tragedy given route to permanent residency

Grenfell Tower fire survivors whose immigration status was uncertain are to be given the chance to become permanent residents of Britain, the Government has announced.

A one-year immigration amnesty was initially granted for foreign national survivors of the June 14 inferno and they have now been given a route to permanent residence.

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis said the 12 months' limited leave, granted to eligible individuals who come forward by November 30, will now be extendable and lead to a permanent right to remain in the UK after five years, subject to meeting security, criminality and fraud checks.

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis. ( David Mirzoeff/PA)
Immigration minister Brandon Lewis. ( David Mirzoeff/PA)

Mr Lewis said in a written ministerial statement: "Our initial response to this terrible tragedy was rightly focused on survivors' immediate needs in the aftermath of the fire and ensuring they could access the services they need to start to rebuild their lives.

"However, since the Grenfell Tower immigration policy was announced, we have been planning for the future of those residents affected by these unprecedented events and listening to their feedback, as well as the views of (Grenfell inquiry chairman) Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

"The Government believes it is right to provide the specific group of survivors who are eligible for limited leave to remain under the dedicated immigration policy greater certainty over their long-term future in the UK, subject to their continued eligibility and the necessary security and criminality and fraud checks being met."

Mr Lewis also announced that relatives of survivors and victims who have already been granted entry to the UK for reasons relating to the tragedy will be given the right to stay in the country for six months.

"This new dedicated immigration policy allows relatives who have come to the UK and who were initially granted less than six months' leave in order to provide a short period of support a survivor or to arrange the funeral of a family member to extend their stay to six months in total," he said.

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