80% of EU nationals face severe stress in application process, poll finds
More than half of respondents said Home Office guidance was complicated and contradictory.
More than 80% of EU nationals experience severe stress when applying for documentation certifying permanent residency in the UK, a new survey has found.
Research by the3million organisation raises concern about unnecessary barriers being created for the estimated 3.2 million EU nationals in Britain when seeking to clarify their residence status.
A survey of nearly 2,800 EU citizens in the UK found that more than half believed Home Office guidance was complicated and contradictory, while 95% said gathering the required evidence was the main difficulty.
The cost of applying was also cited as a barrier, and the research found many did not trust the process which is seen as discriminatory, especially towards women, people on low income and vulnerable groups.
The report states that unless the process is urgently reformed “possibly three million EU citizens will find themselves in limbo through no fault of their own and with no means of evidencing their rights by the time the UK leaves the EU”.
Anne-Laure Donskoy, co-chairwoman of the3million, said: “The report confirms that the current system is not fit for purpose and consistently fails applicants, especially those with complex situations.
“Many reported the process had made them insecure and no longer welcome or wanted in the country they had chosen as their home and where they had been living often for decades.”