EU Nationals Are Discovering The Home Office Is Driven By Quotas, Not Reason
The case of Dom Wolf, a 32-year-old City worker who was born in Britain to German parents has once again highlighted the brutal reality of the struggles facing many EU nationals and/or their descendants who are trying to obtain EU permanent residence Cards or British Citizenship.
Mr Wolf’s parents came to the UK in 1974 (remaining ever since) and had four children. His mother was a lecturer at the University of London and his father was self-employed. Mr Wolf’s parents gave him a German passport to remind him of his heritage. Until Britain voted for Brexit on 23rd June last year, the economics graduate had no reason to apply for a British Passport.
Following the EU Referendum, he decided to apply for his British passport to ensure he could move freely in and out of his country of birth after Britain left the EU. However, his application was rejected because, according to Immigration officials, he cannot prove that his mother had a legal right to be in the UK when she gave birth to him.
Ludicrously, he has been told he will have to apply for full British Citizenship, at the cost of over £1,000 and take the Life in the UK and an English language test.
The University of London does not hold any employee records prior to 1982 and the HMRC has also said it cannot provide the documents needed to prove Mr Wolf’s mother was in the country legally.
Mr Wolf told The Guardian that he has written a letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May stating, “Holding a British birth certificate and having had my parents live, work and raise four boys in the UK for over 42 years, I made the devastating assumption that this would be an easy process. Oh boy, I was wrong.”
EU nationals could be facing a hard road ahead
Nesrine Malik put it perfectly in a recent editorial piece in The Guardian when she said, “Not only is the Home Office under-staffed and under-resourced, it is also under pressure to deliver whatever results the government needs to stand any chance of meeting its Immigration targets. The result is that, for up to three million EU nationals, worried by the political hiatus, seeking reassurance from the Home Office is like running towards a cliff to flee a predator.”
She also makes the point that the Home Office, having being backed into a corner over Immigration targets, makes decisions, not on reasonableness and merit, but as a way of refusing as many applicants as possible without blatantly breaching the law, in the hope that the applicants financial and emotional resources will eventually be exhausted, and they will give up.
The most important step EU nationals living in the UK can take to ensure they do not fall victim to bureaucratic madness is engage an experienced Immigration lawyer to ensure their permanent residence Card or British Citizenship application has the best chance of succeeding the first time it is submitted.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best Immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on any Immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0203 959 9123 to talk to one of our dedicated Immigration lawyers.