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Grenfell Tower Fire

Volume 626: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2017

I wish to inform the House that I am today introducing a policy on leave to remain outside the immigration rules for residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk.

The Government have been clear that their priority is to ensure that victims of this tragedy get the access they need to vital services, irrespective of immigration status. The Home Office will not conduct immigration checks on survivors and those coming forward to provide information to assist the authorities in their enquiries. However, we recognise that some foreign nationals directly affected by the fire may not wish to engage with the authorities due to concerns about their unresolved immigration status, or if their status is about to expire. I am therefore announcing today that those individuals directly affected by the Grenfell Tower fire who contact the Home Office via a specified process will be given a period of limited leave to remain in the UK with full access to relevant support and assistance. This will be done by using discretionary powers to grant leave to remain outside the immigration rules for a temporary period of 12 months and without a condition precluding recourse to public funds. I will place a copy of the policy document in the Library of the House.

This period of leave will provide survivors with the time to deal with the extremely difficult circumstances in which they find themselves and start to rebuild their lives while considering their future options, as well as to assist the police and other authorities with their enquiries about the fire. No fees will be charged by the Home Office in respect of cases granted leave under the policy.

Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the Government are there for them at this terrible time and we will continue to provide the support they need to help them through the difficult days, weeks and months to come.

The policy will be kept under review and will remain in place until 31 August 2017.