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Foreign Nationals: Coronavirus

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to prioritise the return from abroad of non-UK nationals who are normally resident in the UK and who are (a) vulnerable and (b) classified as critical workers.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Our objective remains to bring home British travellers who want to return to the UK, as soon as possible. British travellers will therefore be prioritised for seats on repatriation flights. From the outset, our priority for the charter flight programme has been getting British travellers home. But after we launched the charter flight programme, it became clear that there are people with indefinite leave to remain (ILR) who normally reside in the UK, and want to get back. So where possible, we are working to help vulnerable UK residents with ILR. This is beyond the scope of our standard consular assistance, which is usually just for UK nationals. But these are exceptional times. We are seeking to help vulnerable people with ILR wherever possible, provided that they have lived in the UK within the last year.

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