The upbeat video features cheerful music and photographs of people smiling, together with captions explaining the EU resettlement scheme. The new rules, which are being tested and which will be operational by March 30, the day after the UK is due to leave the EU. They will apply to all EU citizens who wish to continue to live in the UK after December 31, 2020. The video also explains the costs involved, with adults expected to pay £65, and children under the age of 16 £32.50, although the process will be free for anyone with a permanent residence card or indefinite leave to remain.
The video states: “Getting status under the scheme means you can continue to live, work and study in the UK as you can now.”
The rules were announced in June – but this did not stop the Home Office’s tweet featuring the clip from attracting a barrage of negative comments.
French national Anna Forest replied: “If you are an EU citizen”? Guess what Britons, you are an EU citizen too!
“You are forcing us to apply (subject 2 rejection) & pay (when other EU nations offer the same 4 free) 2 live in our own homes, work here & pay tax, yet were denied a vote in 2016. FYI we are NOT criminals!”
Simon Kaylor said: “My wife has been here 20 years.
“She’s paid tax on a well paid job, educated hundreds of British students over the years and contributed a lot to the UK arts scene.
“We have two children together and now we have to pay to see if she’s allowed to stay. This government are a disgrace.”
Alexis Butterfield said: “Pictures of happy smiling people, that becomes instantly sinister when you remember that this is the same organisation that gave us the Windrush scandal #HostileEnvironment”
Lene Kruhoffer, a Danish citizen who lives in Britain, said: “You absolute s****!
“I’ve lived here 35 years, got a stamp in my passport for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in 1985 and now you want me to apply to stay in my own home.”
Others were unimpressed by the timing of the video’s release, at 8.30am on December 27, the first message posted on the Home Office’s official account after one wishing people a Merry Christmas.
Another Twitter user claimed the pictures of “happy EU millennials” in the video were stock images.
A Home Office spokesman told Express.co.uk: “EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society and we want them to stay.
“It is vital that EU citizens and their family members know their rights and entitlements are protected, and understand what to do when the Settlement Scheme goes live in March 2019.
“Official communications throughout 2018 have been pointing people towards reliable sources of information on GOV.UK.
“We’re making the application process as quick and user-friendly as possible.
“It will check three basic principles – identity, UK residence and criminality – and following the completion of two, successful private tests we will begin to roll-out the Scheme so that it is fully open by 30 March 2019.”