Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has welcomed the decision by the Government of the United Kingdom to grant citizenship to the Caribbean migrants who helped to rebuild post-World War II Britain (Windrush Generation).
The Minister noted that in addition to the decision to grant citizenship, the waiving of fees and charges was also an important and welcomed development in light of the financial challenges experienced by some persons in seeking to make citizenship applications.
In noting the announcement made on Monday, April 23 in the UK Parliament by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the Foreign Minister explained that the free citizenship offer will apply not only to Caribbean migrants to the UK between 1948 and 1973, but also to anyone from the Commonwealth nations who settled in the UK during that timeframe. It was also announced that financial compensation will be given to members of the Windrush Generation negatively affected by enforcement of the earlier change in immigration policy and that the British knowledge and language tests usually applicable to citizenship applications, would not be required.
“This is an excellent move and it not only answers the questions persons have been asking, but certainly delivers what we have been calling for and what Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other CARICOM heads had asked for – that there be some compensatory relief and that the citizenship to which those persons are entitled, be granted,” said Jamaica’s Foreign Minister.
“I would like to thank the Caribbean High Commissioners, including our High Commissioner in London, H.E. George Ramocan and others who played their part in achieving the recourse that has been promised. We remain vigilant on the issue such that our Mission in the UK, with whom the Ministry is in regular communication, are monitoring and maintaining contact with the Home Office on the issue,” added Minister Johnson Smith.
The Minister invited persons who believe they fall within the category of the Windrush Generation or their children, to use the British Home Office website and helpline, to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade or to contact the Jamaican High Commission in London.
Home Office: WindrushHelpline (toll free within UK): 0300-123-2241
Home Office: WindrushHelpline (from Jamaica): 011 44 800 678 1925
Jamaican High Commission, London: firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 44 207 823 9911