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Immigration to UK from Poland rises again | Immigration Matters

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Migration from Eastern Europe on the rise again, with return to UK ‘driven by disappointment at home’, report says.

Reports that most Poles would be leaving the UK for better prospects at home have proved groundless. The UK economy may still be in the doldrums, but according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), net migration to the UK from Poland is on the up again, and Poles are now the biggest group of foreign nationals in the UK.

Some 545,000 Polish passport holders now live in the UK (according to official figures), compared with 75,000 in 2003, the year before Poland joined the EU.

The ONS reports that net migration from Poland and other east European countries increased to 43,000 in the 12 months to September 2010, compared with a fall of 12,000 the year before.

It comes as no surprise to Maciek Bator, a 29-year-old political science graduate from Plock, about 70 miles north-west of the capital, Warsaw, who has been living in Belfast since December 2004.

He believes the recent increase can be explained not by newbies dipping their toes in the UK job market, but returnees who found that life back in the motherland did not match up to their expectations.

“I know lots of Poles who went back to Poland in the past few years, only to come back last year,” said Bator, who works at the Polish Association Northern Ireland, helping his compatriots settle in.

Most of those who left the UK were manual labourers who had never registered with the workers registration scheme (WRS), said Bator. The WRS has just been abolished, but until 30 April, not registering meant migrants were not eligible for UK benefits.

“A lot of people never bothered registering because they either didn’t realise they had to, or they thought it wasn’t worth the £90 fee,” said Bator. “The problem was that when they lost their jobs, they were not able to claim any unemployment benefits and were stuck.”

But when they unpacked their suitcases back home, many found that Poland was not booming as they had expected.

“Poland withstood the financial crisis better than most other EU countries, but not everywhere is thriving,” said Justyna Frelak, head of migration policy at the Warsaw-based institute of public affairs.

“The University of Warsaw research showed the majority of Poles who came to the UK did not hail from the big cities, but from small towns where unemployment is still very high,” said Frelak.

Bator agreed: “In Northern Ireland, most of the Poles here [15,000 according to the latest ONS figures] come from the east of Poland, which is poor. There are a lot from a town called Radom, for example, and also from Lublin, near the border with Ukraine. Wages there are very low.

“Even a poorly paid job in the UK is a lot better than you can still get there: £1,200 might be a low salary in Northern Ireland, but it still means that you can have one or two holidays a year, maybe a city break.

“In Poland, even if things are cheaper there, you cannot have the same quality of life that people have got used to here.”

Krystyna Iglicka, a professor in economics and demographics from the centre of international relations in Warsaw, said it should be no surprise that the number of Poles is on the increase. “It’s a well-known migratory pattern that after the first wave of migration, where generally young people come to seek work, there is a second wave when their families come to join them,” she said.

“That’s what we saw in 1973, particularly in Germany, when the Gastarbeiter were expected to go home during that financial crisis but the opposite happened: those who weathered the storm wanted to stay and their families followed them.

“Plus, of course, young people grow up and have babies – of the 130,000 Polish children registered in the UK in 2009, 60,000 had been born in England and Wales.”

But, said Frelak, the increase in net migration was perhaps unlikely to continue for long.

“At the end of 2010, the Public Opinions Research Centre in Warsaw did a survey assessing Poles’ readiness to migrate,” she said.

“In 2010, only 16% of adult Poles were interested in moving abroad, compared with 32% in 2004.” Source: The Guardian.

Immigration flows have hit their highest level for six years with numbers increasing from Eastern Europe, even from Bulgaria and Romania despite restrictions on working in the UK.

See article:

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website 

See article:

 

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website

See also:

Net UK immigration soars

Rules for European workers in the UK

Worker Registration Scheme to close 

HOW TO FIND APPLICATION FORMS FOR A ‘YELLOW’ OR ‘BLUE’ CARD REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE ON THE UK BORDER AGENCY WEBSITE 

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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