Dozens of foreign workers have received messages saying they have overstayed their visas despite claims some are still waiting for their applications to be processed, some have the right to stay in the UK, and others have already left.
It comes after Capita won a £40 million contract from the beleaguered UK Border Agency to trace 174,000 migrants living illegally in the country from September.
The firm is contacting people on the list of possible illegal immigrants via email, phone or a text that states: “Message from the UK Border Agency. You are required to leave the UK as you no longer have the right to remain.”
However, among those it has incorrectly approached are a woman with a UK passport and a man with a valid visa who had invested £1 million in a British business.Alison Hutton, senior consultant at law firm Newland Chase, said: “This is clearly a very stressful experience for the migrants concerned, causing them significant panic and distress.
“Consequently, clarification is being sought from the UKBA as to why it is happening and what can be done to prevent such occurrences.”
Asked about the errors by Julian Huppert, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, in the Commons, Mrs May, the home secretary, said she would look into any individual cases for which he could provide details.
A Capita spokesman said: “Part of Capita’s role is to identify those whose records suggest they are over-stayers but who have already left the UK.
“If we receive evidence to indicate that an individual has valid leave or has left the UK then records will be updated accordingly.”
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “Where our records show that people are here illegally it is vital we are able to contact them as we are determined that they should return home.“This is the first time a government has taken proactive steps to deal with this pool of cases, some of which date back to December 2008.
“Anyone who is here legally and has been contacted in error should contact us on the number provided so our records can be updated.”
January 07′ 2013