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Fate of children and young people brought up in the UK but unable to secure permanent status highlighted in report

Coram Children’s Legal Centre report makes recommendations for improvement

This is my home, a new report by Coram Children's Legal Centre, highlights the fate of hundreds of thousands of children and young people who, despite having been brought up in the UK, are trapped in precarious situations because they are unable to secure permanent status in the UK.

Highlighted in Channel 4 Dispatches programme Brexit – How To Get a British Passport, CCLC's report explores the challenges on young people's lives of living with uncertain immigration status and the impact on this group of children.

There are in the UK approximately 120,000 undocumented children, of whom 65,000 were born here. Without documentation, a young person cannot work, open a bank account or access sources of support such as housing, and is cut off from college and university.

Obstacles to children achieving permanent status, highlighted by This is My Home, include lack of free and quality legal representation, unaffordable application fees with very limited fee waivers, and complex law and policy.

The report's author and CCLC's Head of Policy and Programmes, Kamena Dorling, said:

"Thousands of undocumented children and young people will have grown up in the UK, have been educated here, and will think of themselves as British.  Even if they manage to make an immigration application, they will usually only be granted two and a half years leave and will have to wait ten years before they can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

During this period they have to make five further applications, and face over £8,000 in fees and charges, while living in a state of insecurity.  They are prevented from legally participating in and contributing to the communities in which they live and, in many cases have lived, all their lives."

Recommendations to improve the lives of undocumented children and young people outlined in This is My Home include:

To read the report, click here.