A 101-year-old Italian man living in London since 1966 was asked by British authorities to get his parents to confirm his identity after he applied to remain in the country post-Brexit, according to a report.
As a result of an apparent computer glitch, the Home Office thought Giovanni Palmiero was a 1-year-old, according to the Guardian.
The centenarian was told he needed his mom and dad to be present when he made his application at an advice center in Islington, north London.
The mix-up was caused when a worker helped the great-grandfather to scan his passport into the EU settled status app to share his biometric data with the Home Office.
His birth year was interpreted as 2019 instead of 1919.
“I immediately noticed that something was wrong because when I scanned in his passport, it imported his biometric data not as 1919 but as 2019,” said Dimitri Scarlato, an activist with the group the3million who also works for Inca Cgil, an organization that helps people of Italian descent.
“It then skipped the face recognition section which is what it does with under-12s,” he added.
Scarlato was then asked whether he wanted to put in the residence details of the man’s parents.
“I was surprised. I phoned the Home Office and it took two calls and a half an hour for them to understand it was the app’s fault, not mine,” he said.
The Home Office finally took Palmiero’s identity details over the phone and he was told he could resume his application as a bone fide 101-year-old.
Palmiero, who came to the UK in 1966, has been married to his 92-year-old wife, Lucia, for 75 years and they have raised four children. They have eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He “worked at a restaurant in Piccadilly and, up until the age of 94, in a fish and chip shop, until 11 o’clock at night.”
“It’s like a humiliation, you’ve been here so long and then all of a sudden this happens. I am not worried about him because he has got us but it’s completely unfair on old people,” Palmiero’s son Assuntino told the Guardian.
Scarlato told the online news outlet Londra Italia that the family has received an apology “for the inconvenience” from the Home Office.
But they were still waiting for Palmiero’s settled status to be OK’d, Italian media reported.
The Home Office said his application was being processed.
“When Mr. Palmiero’s case was raised our dedicated EU settlement scheme team contacted him and those supporting him to assist with his application,” it said.
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