Leaked Home Office paper unveils plans to take immigration status check service entirely online
The post-Brexit immigration system intends to offer tools that are ‘fully automated and digital’ Credit: PA
The government has promised that the post-Brexit immigration system will be “as digital… as possible”, including entirely online methods for employers and public services providers to check people’s rights of residence and employment.
A leaked Home Office paper, obtained by The Guardian, identifies “eight pillars” around which the government intends to build the UK’s new laws and processes for immigration, citizenship, and border entry. One of these pillars is “a smooth and orderly process towards the future system” during the expected “implementation period” of at least two years. Part of ensuring this smooth transition will be putting in place “an efficient digital process”.
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The paper said: “A key aim is to make the new immigration system as digital, flexible, and frictionless as possible. It will be supported by improved data-sharing capabilities between government departments, notably between the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Department for Work and Pensions, to link together tax, benefit, and immigration records in a fully automated and digital way.”
Ultimately, the new system will feature “a secure digital portal” which will allow potential employers and bodies that provide public services to check details of people’s immigration status online. During the implementation period EU citizens will still probably need to carry physical documentation of their right to stay in the country.
“Though the intention is to replace this with a fully digital process as soon as operationally feasible,” the paper added.
During the implementation period the government intends to take in “the views of employers and other stakeholders” to ensure the new system is simple to use but effective.