Home Office promises new “simple and swift” system for processing EU nationals’ applications
The immigration minister has recently promised that when processing EU national applications for settled status in Britain, a new system would be implemented ensuring that it would take “no more than a couple of weeks”.
Brandon Lewis, the Home Office minister, has promised that an additional 1,200 immigration staff were being recruited to swiftly process an expected 3.5 million applications from EU nationals over two years.
The Home Office has confirmed that EU nationals who were refused settlement status and recognised as illegal in Britain could have their bank accounts frozen and face deportation with no chance of appealing the decision in British Courts.
Many have questioned whether the recruitment of 1,200 staff would have any impact on processing EU citizen’s applications. It is estimated that there are currently 6,500 staff that are in charge of processing over 3 million visa applications a year. Yvette Cooper, chair of the Commons home affairs committee, has confirmed that there is currently a three month delay in processing EU nationals’ applications for permanent residence.
In response to this the Home Office has reassured that EU applications are straightforward and will be dealt with by the new “simple and swift” online system. The Home Office plans to implement this new system in the first half of next year and they estimate that each application “should take a couple of weeks and not months” to process.
Mr. Lewis however, states that non-EU nationals will find that this new system will lead to harsher outcomes for those, who he says, “game the system”. They could in fact find themselves being rejected and possibly face deportation.
The Home Office has confirmed that in the past when banks were required to do immigration checks on existing bank accounts, no one’s account would be frozen until the Home Office performed a second check on that account. Banks will soon be required to carry out automated checks of their accounts against the Home Office database to assess who is residing in the UK illegally.
At Lupins we continue to assist with EU nationals and their dependants. If you are looing for advice or have any questions on this issue please contact one of our EU specialists on 0203 503 0880