Gurkha society clears 728 UK settlement applications

Kathmandu, June 21 :

The British Gurkha Welfare Society (BGWS), Nepal Office, has so far cleared 728 applications submitted by former British Gurkha soldiers and their families for settlement in the UK under the Indefinite Leave to Enter for Settlement (ILES) and Indefinite Leave to Remain for Settlement (ILRS) schemes.

The BGWS said in a statement today that while the ILES scheme applies to those soldiers applying from overseas, the ILRS scheme is meant for those applying from within the UK. The 728 applications include those received from 12 widows in the UK.

Those Gurkhas retiring after 1 July 1997 are automatically entitled to the schemes. However, those retiring prior to this date can also apply provided they are able to show any “connection with the UK,” the statement said. However, the British government is yet to decide on whether to include all former soldiers of the Gurkha Brigade in the ILES scheme.

The statement added that the schemes were an effect of the successful campaign led by the BGWS in obtaining settlement right for Gurkhas based on their service to the Crown.

The BGWS was registered and set up in Kathmandu and began operations from 15 May 2006. The Office is an extension of the main office in the UK, established to provide information on immigration issues regarding the Gurkhas, welfare matters and counselling those opting to settle in the UK and assisting them in problems tied with employment and language barriers, the statement further said.