CCLC win shorter route to permanent status for children transferred from Calais in 2017

Following an intervention by CCLC, the Home Office has confirmed that children and young people who were brought to the UK in 2016 and 2017 as part of the Calais camp clearance will now have a shorter wait before getting permanent status, known as indefinite leave to remain or settlement, and no fee to pay.

This small group of children and young people originally arrived in the UK as children through the government’s Calais camp operation. They were unaccompanied in France and brought over to the UK by the UK government. When they arrived in the UK as unaccompanied children in 2016 and 2017, they were granted an initial five years’ permission to stay in the UK. This was referred to as ‘Calais leave’.

Calais leave

Until the latest policy change, they had been due to pay an application fee to apply to remain in the UK. They were also due to apply for another five-year visa instead of permanent status. This would have meant waiting a total of ten years for permanence.

Now, following correspondence with CCLC and the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, the Home Office has confirmed that they are on a five-year route to settlement.

What happens next?

In total 769 children were transferred from Calais between 17 October 2016 and 13 July 2017. Some were granted refugee status and the Home Office granted the rest ‘Calais leave’.

The Home Office is now due to write to everyone affected and ask for some information via a form before considering them for a grant of indefinite leave to remain. The Home Office has stated that any fees and health charges already paid for renewal of limited leave applications will be refunded.

Neena Acharya, Senior Solicitor at Coram Children’s Legal Centre, said:

This is extremely welcome news for this small group whom the government brought to the UK as children without their families.

It would have been disproportionate to make them pay to re-apply and to wait ten years before getting the stability they need to build their futures.


27 March 2024