Whether you want to prove your status to get a job, rent a flat or open a bank account, relying on an online-only system prone to outage in unacceptable.

First published in December 2019.

In less than 13 months, EU citizens’ only way to prove their immigration status will be via an online system. In March 2018, Government Digital Service assessed one part of the system and raised concerns about:

◦ the lack of physical documents;
◦ the need to plan for system outage.

Prove your right to work - Recommendations. / Gov.uk - Government Digital Service

Last night, the right-to-work service was not working for at least 30 minutes.

At quarter to midnight we were alerted by EU citizens that the online service to view their immigration status was not working. We immediately tested and confirmed that the system was malfunctioning. The service only went back at 12:12am. At least 30 minutes of outage.

404 immigration status not found, last night. / Gov.uk - Right-to-work

Yesterday’s temporary outage of the right-to-work system showed that the risk to EU citizens is real – outages, short or prolonged, could cause issues at the border and discrimination within the rental sector and the job market.

System outage is only one of the many reasons why EU citizens must receive a physical document to prove our status.

Yesterday we also received a reply to our Freedom of Information request which enquired about whether further assessment on the right-to-work system has been done since 2018 to understand if the Government Digital Service recommendations had been implemented.

The answer we received is concerning...

Cabinet Office’s reply to our Freedom of Information request.

For the last 21 months (since March 2018), on the right-to-work system:

no further assessment has taken place;
no further assessment has been scheduled to take place;
no further assessment is legally required to be scheduled to happen.

Cabinet Office’s reply to our Freedom of Information request.

With less than 13 months until EU citizens are forced to rely on the online-only system to prove their status, we don’t know if the Home Office has addressed the Government Digital Service’s right-to-work system concerns.

This is unacceptable and further increases our case for physical proof for EU citizens.

Read more on why physical documents for EU citizens to prove their status in the UK must be issued, on our website.🔷


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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 5 December 2019, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Dreamstime/Fizkes.)