911240 Polish citizens have applied for settled status in the UK, allowing EU citizens to retain acquired rights before the end of the post-Brexit transition period, according to statistics published by the UK Home Office on Thursday.

This is more than the number of Polish citizens already residing in Great Britain as estimated by ONS, as well as the bulk of the nearly 5 million applications submitted by citizens of all eligible countries. But unexpectedly, in England itself, the Poles fell to the second place in terms of the number of applications submitted, because in the last three months of 2020 they were overtaken by the Romanians.

In total, by December 31, 2020, citizens of the European Union countries, as well as from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, had submitted 4,916,280 stable and pre-settled status applications, 4,514,250 of which were examined. In the case of 54 percent. Of the applications examined, 43 percent were granted the status of a settled person. – The temporary situation, and the rest 3 percent. They are the requests rejected, invalid, or withdrawn. (Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Interior announced that the number of applications in January exceeded 5 million.)

Polish citizens filed 911,240 applications, of which 854,630 were considered. Settled person status was awarded with 78%. Consideration of requests, and temporary status – at 19 percent. This is the highest percentage of fully steady-state requests among all nationalities. For comparison – in the case of Romanian citizens, who were second in the number of applications submitted, 34% received full status, and temporary status – 62%.

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85 percent of applications were submitted by Polish citizens in England, 9 percent. In Scotland, it’s about 3 percent. In Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the largest number of orders come from the Poles, in England – from the Romanians, and later from the Poles. According to statistics, at the end of September, also in England, the Poles were the largest group of applicants.

Both the number of all applications submitted and those of Polish citizens are higher than the Office for National Statistics estimates for people already living in Great Britain. According to estimates, at the end of June 2020 there were 3,482 million EU citizens in the United Kingdom, including 815,000 people. Polish citizens, as both numbers show a downward trend.

The largest number of applications is due to the fact that not only people who already live in Great Britain are eligible to apply, but also those who have lived in this country in the past and then left, so some people have submitted them “just in case” to be able to return.

Kevin Foster, the deputy home secretary responsible for immigration and settled persons status, said in an interview with PAP that there is no data on how many people have applied from abroad, but he expressed his belief that the vast majority of applicants either live in the UK, or plan to make it his home. . “There are many reasons why people leave for a while, such as staying with their families during the pandemic, but they are planning to return. We are looking at each case separately, and in addition, everyone should show their actual place of residence in this application,” he said, “The Census Bureau is just Appreciation.

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Pre-settled or stable status is essential to ensure that EU citizens can still live legally in the UK after the Brexit transition period of 31 December 2020 and retain their rights. Currently, until June 30 at the latest, only people who were in the UK before the end of the transition period can apply.

The type of case depends on the length of stay in the UK. Settlement status is granted to people who can prove at least five years of continuous residency in the country. If you do not meet this requirement at the time of submitting your application, you will usually be granted a pre-settled status, but you will be able to switch to pre-settled status after five years of continuous residency.

From London: Bartłomiej Niedziński (PAP)

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