A Finnish academic in the UK has revealed that she is one of many EU nationals that have been mistakenly told to leave the UK after applying for documentation evidencing their right to reside.

EU citizens exercising treaty rights in the UK currently have a right to reside in the UK without the need for additional documentation from the Home Office. Prudent EU citizens have, however, been applying for registration certificates from the Home Office in advance of Brexit, spurred on by the on going uncertainty as to what their status will be after the UK leaves the EU.

The Home Office responded to Dr Eva Holmberg’s application for a registration certificate with a letter stating that she had a month to leave the UK, that the Home Office would make “directions for [her] removal”, and that she was “a person liable to be detained under the Immigration Act”. After considerable anxiety and expense Dr Holmberg was able to ascertain that this letter, along with up to 100 similar letters, had been sent by the Home Office to applicants in error.

The nature and seriousness of the error raises questions about case working and decision making processes currently in place at the Home Office. It is likely to stoke further debate about the UK Visas and Immigration’s capacity to cope with any expanded remit following Brexit.