Prime Minister Theresa May has apologised to Caribbean leaders over the Windrush generation controversy, at a Downing Street meeting.
She said she was “genuinely sorry” about the anxiety caused by the Home Office threatening the children of Commonwealth citizens with deportation.
The UK government “valued” the contribution they had made, she said, and they had a right to stay in the UK.
It comes amid reports some are still facing deportation.
The PM said she wanted to “dispel any impression that my government is in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean who have built a life here”.
She said the current controversy had arisen because of new rules, introduced by her as home secretary, designed to make sure only those with the right to remain in the UK could access the welfare system and the NHS.
“This has resulted in some people, through no fault of their own, now needing to be able to evidence their immigration status,” she told the foreign ministers and leaders of 12 Commonwealth nations in Downing Street.
“And the overwhelming majority of the Windrush generation do have the documents that they need, but we are working hard to help those who do not.”
The PM added: “Those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK.
“As do the vast majority of long-term residents who arrived later, and I don’t want anybody to be in any doubt about their right to remain here in the United Kingdom.”