An investigation into UK Visas and Immigration’s handling of Windrush man’s status

Our decision 

  1. Ms V complained that Immigration Enforcement and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) wrongly classed her late father, Mr V, as having no status in the UK when he had indefinite leave. She complained he was repeatedly asked to prove his residence in the UK, and UKVI and Immigration Enforcement did not deal with his complaint adequately. 

  1. We have found failings in the decision-making which led Capita to contact Mr V. We have found Immigration Enforcement acted with maladministration when they told Mr V he had no status in the UK, and they missed opportunities to put things right. We have also identified failings in Immigration Enforcement and UKVI’s record keeping. We have found that when UKVI considered Mr V’s 26 May 2017 application for a biometric residence permit they asked for more evidence than was required by their own guidance.

    We have not found UKVI acted with maladministration when they considered Mr V’s British Citizenship application. We have found maladministration in UKVI and Immigration Enforcement’s complaint handling because there was a significant delay in providing a response to the complaint and the responses themselves were inadequate.  

  2. We uphold Ms V’s complaint.  

  3. The failings we have identified had a profound effect on Mr V in what, very sadly, were the last years of his life. He became depressed and anxious and eventually became withdrawn and immobile. For Ms V and her family, seeing their father and grandfather break down in this way was deeply distressing. 

    We therefore recommend that Immigration Enforcement and UKVI apologise to Ms V and pay her a financial remedy in recognition of the severe distress she has suffered over an extended period of time.

    We also recommend systemic action to make sure the complaints process is at the heart of developing a learning culture and continuous improvement, as well as an opportunity to provide fair outcomes for those affected by the Windrush scandal. 

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