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Home Office immigration database errors hit more than 76,000 people

Published 22 July 2024

Errors in a major Home Office database system have caused over 76,000 people to be recorded with incorrect names, photographic IDs or immigration status.

Information shared in leaked internal documentation discloses the great scale of the incident, which further highlights criticisms raised against the Home Office surrounding delays in immigration application processing, the length of queues at borders and administering of incorrect ID cards.

Whilst the Home Office remains mostly quiet on the issue, leaked documents have found that the issues have caused numerous problems, often confusing the details of individuals with strangers across the system.

This incorrect merging of data is resulting in individuals having linked data with others and thus unable to prove their right to work, live and access the NHS.

This problem follows a major update in early 2024 that aimed to enhance the accuracy of data handling by merging the records of individuals in the system’s database. At the time, only a “few thousand records” appeared to be affected by this error – however, leaked documentation now shares that data concerning at least 76,000 individuals has been affected.

Calls are being made for improvements to the system and how the Home Office deals with this, and indeed any further issues or breaches in the future.

Government sources state that an investigation is underway into the issue – we’ll share any further information as we discover it.

Read more about the leak on The Guardian’s website

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