Windrush Compensation Scheme

You may be able to claim compensation from the government if you suffered losses because you could not show that you had a right to live in the UK. 

‘Losses’ can be things like not being able to work, find a place to live or get health treatment. They can also include immigration action, like detention or removal from the UK. 


In 1971 Commonwealth citizens were granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. However the Home Office kept no records of this, nor issued paperwork needed for people to confirm their status.

Those affected were unable to prove they were in the country legally, prevented from accessing healthcare, work and housing, and some were threatened with deportation.

In 2018 the government apologised, launching an inquiry and the compensation scheme.

How to apply to the scheme

 You can apply if: 

  • You came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973 
  • Your parents or grandparents came to the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1973 
  • You came to the UK from any country before 31 December 1988 and are now settled here 

You can also apply if you are: 

  • The close family member of someone eligible to claim and you have had significant losses yourself
  • Representing the estate of someone who would have been eligible 

For full information and to apply to the scheme visit GOV.UK.

Scheme support

Need support with your application? The Windrush Help Team can guide you through the process.

Further advice

Contact Citizen's Advice for help with proving your right to live in the UK with the Windrush scheme, or getting an immigration document from the Windrush scheme.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants offers free legal advice for Windrush victims.

Windrush Justice Clinic is a collaboration with community organisations, law centres and universities and offers support to those affected, including assistance applying to the compensation scheme.