A growing number of cases of Home Office mistreatment of non-Caribbean Commonwealth-born citizens are emerging. These indicate that the problem is likely to spread beyond the Windrush group.
Immigration charities and MPs reported that numerous new cases had been reported this week of individuals from countries from India, Kenya and Cyprus to Canada.
Echoing the hidden nature of the Windrush cases the scale of the problems experienced by those from non-Windrush nations appears to be only gradually emerging.
A spokesperson at the Canadian high commission said: “To the best of our knowledge, the High Commission of Canada has not been contacted by any Canadians seeking assistance in matters related to Windrush.”
Margaret O’Brien, 69, moved to the UK from Canada in 1971. She described battling over two years to persuade the Home Office to believe that she was here legitimately. She was threatened with removal to Canada, where she has no surviving relatives; her disability benefits were suspended, leaving her impoverished.
Another Canadian, Mary-Ann Astbury, who has lived in the UK for 47 years, has received an apology from the Home Office after she was told she could not renew her passport.
Astbury told the BBC that she had moved from Canada with her adoptive parents in 1971. Home Office staff said they had been in contact with her to discuss her options for applying to naturalise as a British citizen.
Experts at the Oxford-based immigration centre, the Migration Observatory, calculated that up to 57,000 Commonwealth-born, long-term UK residents had never formalised their status in the UK.
They said the problems extended “well beyond” the narrow group of Windrush nations. The body estimates that there are around 15,000 Jamaicans and 13,000 Indians in this situation.
Robert McNeil, deputy director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, said: “The issue of citizenship and residence rights for Commonwealth migrants in the UK who arrived before and during the early 1970s does not just affect those from the Caribbean.
“Tens of thousands of people from other Commonwealth countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas and elsewhere may also be in the same boat.”