Polish people make up the biggest foreign nationality group in the UK, numbering some 900,000. However only 130,000 of them have registered.
“According to the decision of the UK government, EU citizens will have to receive settled person status. The procedure is free, but, given our experience, some people may be asked by the British Home Office to present additional documents, which may prolong the procedure,” explains Katarzyna Zagrodniczek from the East European Resource Center.
In order for a person to be awarded settled status, he or she needs to prove that during the last five years, he or she spent at least six months, of each of these years, in the United Kingdom. A person who has not yet spent that much time in the UK is eligible for pre-settled status, which will be exchangeable for settled status after five years.
The process needs to be completed by every non-British EU citizen, even by those who already have permanent resident status. All that is needed for the process is ID, a clean criminal record and a place of residence. The procedure is completely free. The deadline for registering is December 2020, unless brexit is postponed again. A person who has not registered will be considered an illegal immigrant post-brexit.
Out of the 3.6 mln non-British EU citizens residing in the UK, Poles make up 900,000. Only 132,400 of them have registered so far. That’s only 14.6 percent. All other EU nationalities have higher rates of registration: 26.7 percent for Romanians, 30 percent for Italians and Portuguese, 41 percent for Bulgarians. The lowest rate, beside Poles, belongs to the Finns at 15.7 percent.