“Kasun” (not his real name) is from Sri Lanka and was granted refugee status in 2012. His wife and two children were subsequently able to seek asylum in the UK on a Refugee Family Reunion Visa. When they arrived the Welsh Refugee Council’s Move On service ensured the family had access to suitable accommodation from the outset. The Welsh Refugee Council then guided the family through the process of accessing Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit and ensured that all statutory agencies had their new contact details.
HMRC required the original documentation be provided in order to justify the family’s eligibility for benefits. The children’s original passports with their entry clearance visas were sent to the child benefit office in Newcastle by recorded delivery. The documents were accompanied by a request for HMRC to make note of their new address and to return the passports by Recorded Delivery.
Despite this, HMRC returned the passports to the family’s old address and the documents were signed for by an unknown person. The documents consequently went missing. Whilst the police were called to investigate the loss, they were unable to trace the passports and they were never found.
The family came to the Welsh Refugee Council for advice on the matter and we supported Kasun through the HMRC complaints procedure. The results were extremely positive and HMRC agreed to pay for replacement travel documents, Biometric Residency Permits and all associated costs.