A Home Office advert claiming that all EU citizens will need to apply for settled status with “your passport or ID card” has been banned on the grounds of being misleading.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said the radio advert, aired in April, breached its code as adults had been asked to provide further documents, such as evidence of residence or family relationship, in 27% of decided cases.
The Home Office had defended the advert arguing that it referred to the minimum documentation required to complete the initial application form.
It said that “listeners would appreciate that it was neither possible nor desirable to cover all eventualities in this format” and added that “the ads accurately described the key elements of the application process”.
The ASA concluded that “the ad did not make sufficiently clear that, in some cases, applicants would need to supply documents beyond their passport or ID card” and ruled it could not be broadcast again.
Chefs Damian Wawrzyniak and Richard Bertine, have described the settled status application process as a “shambles” after both were initially denied permanent residency despite having lived and worked in the UK for 15 and 31 years respectively.
Wawrzyniak, who has since been granted full settled status on appeal, launched a support page to help others navigating the application process.