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Plans to register millions of EU citizens could descend into chaos despite Home Office claims it is investing £60 million and recruiting 1,500 staff

View profile for Anushka Sinha

Plans to register millions of EU citizens following Brexit could descend into chaos as a former Home Office official warns that stretched resources and politically motivated decisions will hamper the ‘presumption in favour of granting status’ to EEA nationals.

This is echoed by a leading immigration practitioner who states there has never been an institutional culture of a presumption of innocence within the Home Office.

There is doubt whether the Home Office will be able to deliver on its promises given delays and uncertainty are already having a significant impact on preparations with the publication of the Immigration White Paper being pushed back until Autumn.  

The Home Office has plans to recruit an additional 1,500 staff and is investing £60 million in 2017/2018. However, the Public and Commercial Services Union has claimed only 240 staff have been recruited to date with most assigned to manage existing casework from EU nationals. MPs have warned they do not believe sufficient staff and systems are in place to operate a smooth and effective system.     

The main issue facing EU citizens will be evidencing their status in the UK as there was no previous requirement to do so (other than by providing a valid passport or ID card).  

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