Illegal immigrants who survived Grenfell Tower fire will not be deported, Government announces

Posted On: 
11th October 2017

Undocumented Grenfell Tower survivors will now have the right to remain permanently in the UK, the Home Office has announced. 

The devastating Grenfell Tower fire left around 80 dead and hundreds more homeless
PA Images

In a written statement, immigration minister Brandon Lewis said illegal immigrants caught up in the tragedy would now be entitled to settle in Britain, after initially being granted a 12-month amnesty earlier this year.

Relatives of survivors who entered the country in the aftermath of the fire will also be granted an extension in their residency to six months, to allow them time to arrange funerals.   

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The devastating blaze ripped through the west London high-rise on 14 June killing around 80 people and leaving hundreds more homeless.

Illegal immigrants who lived in the block were reportedly reluctant to come forward to access services in the weeks afterwards for fear of being deported, prompting the Government to grant a year’s amnesty.

But today the Home Office announced that would be extended.

Mr Lewis said: “those who qualify for leave to remain under the Grenfell immigration policy for survivors will now be provided with a route to permanent settlement in the UK.

“Eligible individuals, who have already come forward or do so by 30 November 2017, will be granted an initial 12 months’ limited leave which will be extendable and lead to permanent residence after a total period of five years’ leave granted under the policy, subject to meeting security, criminality and fraud checks.”

He added that relatives would get “6 months’ leave in order to provide a short period of support to a survivor or to arrange the funeral of a family member".

An inquiry into the fire is now underway, headed by retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick who has said he will produce the first report by Easter 2018.