According to the UK Home Office, 911 240 Polish citizens filed for settled status in the UK, which permits EU citizens to maintain their rights gained during the transitional period following Brexit.
By December 31, 2020, EU citizens, as well as those from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein, filed 4,916,280 applications for settled status or pre-settled status, and 4,514,250 were considered. In the case of 54 percent of those applications, settled status was granted, while 43 percent received pre-settled status, and the remaining 3 percent were rejected, withdrawn or deemed invalid.
Two weeks ago, the Home Office stated that the number of applications exceeded 5 million in January 2021.
Out of the 911,240 Polish applications, 854,630 were considered, with 78 percent given a settled status and 19 percent a pre-settled status. This is the largest percentage among all nationalities receiving settled statuses. In comparison, Romanians, in second place, received 34 percent settled statuses and 62 percent pre-settled statuses.
A total of 85 percent of applications from Polish citizens were filed in England, 9 percent in Scotland and around 3 percent each in Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the largest number of applications were submitted by Poles. Surprisingly, Poles came in second in England for the number of filed applications, as Romanians surpassed them in the last quarter of 2020.
The number of applications is higher than the estimated number of Polish citizens actually living in the UK, per the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is because Poles authorized to file applications include not only those currently living in the UK but also those who lived there in the past and then left the country. Some people filed applications “just in case” to have the ability to return.
Receiving a settled or pre-settled status is necessary for EU citizens to continue to legally live in the UK and maintain their rights following the transition period after Brexit, which ended on December 31, 2020.