The press release that I've sent out is:
New migrant guide is ‘unfit for purpose’
The Government’s guide for migrants features numerous errors and omissions, according to a new report by a Durham University academic.
Thom Brooks, Professor in Law and Government at Durham University said the guide is ‘unfit for purpose’.
His report shows mistakes in the guide’s information on gaining UK residency and citizenship, on marrying or divorcing a non-British citizen and making tax payments.
The Practical Guide to Living in the United Kingdom provides information on health, education, work and volunteering to newly arrived migrants. It is designed to help migrants understand the legal requirements for short and long-term residency ‘to settle in quickly and enjoy your new life’.
Professor Brooks, himself originally from the US and a British citizen since 2011, uncovered surprising omissions such as how to report emergencies to the police and calculating and paying income and council taxes. He also found outdated information.
Professor Brooks said: “The Government published a new citizenship test in 2013 which was like a bad pub quiz. They claimed migrants should know more about their responsibilities than rights to claim benefits.
“Ironically, the new Practical Guide includes more information about claiming benefits than ever before”.
The guide provides migrants with information about claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, legal aid and using the small claims courts.
Professor Brooks added: “It is unsurprising the author of the Practical Guide also wrote the Official Study Guide for the citizenship test. Both contain avoidable errors and omissions that should be obvious to anyone, like me, who has experienced migration first-hand. It makes me wonder how carefully such guides are checked by the Home Office”.
Professor Brooks’s report found more information about the health service, education and work in the Practical Guide for new migrants than the UK citizenship test.
He said: “This shows the Government has the wrong priorities. If it isn’t necessary for new citizens, why then for new migrants? The focus surely must be on contributing to British life and not a how-to guide to make claims for people who might not have visited the UK yet”.