British minister urges Poles to secure rights before Brexit

UK Minister of State for Immigration Caroline Nokes told PAP the fulfillment of all formalities should not be put off until the last moment. /PAP/EPA

Poles living in Great Britain should not be put off registering for 'settled status' and to secure their rights before Brexit, UK Minister of State for Immigration Caroline Nokes told PAP.

Three months after the official launch of the EU Settlement Scheme, records show that applications have been submitted by 909,300 people, which, according to the estimates of the UK's Office for National Statistics, represents approximately a quarter of all citizens from the 27 EU member states who live permanently in the United Kingdom.

According to data published on Thursday, Poles, who are the largest national minority in the country, are the group which is slowest in registering, as only 17 percent have done so (154,000 out of the estimated 905,000 people).

Nokes told PAP the fulfillment of all formalities should not be put off until the last moment. She added that the British government, in the near future, is planning to carry out an advertising campaign that will be directed at those communities which have the lowest registration levels, and that it would be carried out in their national languages.

Nokes also said that it was important to point out that the application for settlement status takes only about ten minutes using the smartphone application and that decisions are received within one to four days.

Failure to obtain settled status or temporary settled status within the prescribed time period may result in the stay of that person in the UK as being illegal.