After 31 December, EU citizens will become the only group of foreign residents in the UK with a digital-only immigration status and no backup option of physical proof.


First published in August 2020.


Imagine it is 1984 2021 and you urgently need a job, or are looking for a place to live, and as part of the process you need to prove you have the right to live in the UK.

But your passport is no longer enough after the UK has left the EU, and you have no biometric residence card as proof – just a code to enter into the Home Office database.

Just as the landlord or employer logs on to check your ID, the system crashes, and you are passed over for someone else whose proof is easier to check.

And that’s not all – to get that code in the first place, you need not only your passport but also access to the right email address or mobile number that the status was originally linked to.

The error message showing to EU citizens they need instead to use their backup physical proof – EU passport or national ID, or biometric residence card. After 2020, this will no longer be an option. / the3million

If someone else helped you set this up, perhaps years ago, can you imagine the stress of trying to deal with the Home Office website just to prove you have the right to live and work?

That may be part of daily life for many EU citizens after 31 December this year, as the only group of foreign residents in the UK with a digital-only immigration status and no backup option of physical proof.

So, the3million is inviting you to a webinar and a Q&A on why we, EU citizens in the UK, should have the option for physical proof of our immigration status.

We are meeting on Zoom, Thursday 27 August, at 7pm – please register by filling in this form.

The panel will be chaired by Luke Piper (Immigration law practitioner at South West Law and Policy and Advocacy manager at the3million) and include:

  • Emily McCarron, from Age UK – who will explain the consequences of a digital-only scheme for older EU citizens;
  • Ian Robinson, partner at Fragomen, the global law firm on immigration for businesses – who will present the business perspective on the issue;
  • Ollie Persey, from the Public Law Project – who will explain the risk of discrimination with a digital only system;
  • Monique Hawkins, from the3million – who is our leading activist on physical documents.

There will be short statements at the beginning, and plenty of time to ask questions.

The webinar is open to all and will be recorded and live streamed on the3million’s social media.

We need your help to make the government change its mind.

Join us for this webinar to find out how you can get involved with the #DeniedMyBackUp campaign.πŸ”·





[This piece was originally published in the3million newsletter and re-published in PMP Magazine on 20 August 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: the3million.)

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