Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(15) pp 1909-1931

Debates have persisted about the character of the East-West population flows that followed the EU expansions. Some of the discussions surround the extent to which the mobility has been temporal and hence how likely these migrants are to settle permanently or to stay for long periods in host countries. This paper enhances the understanding of such issues through examining survey data on 700 Polish recent migrants in seven English and Welsh towns and supplemented by an analysis of qualitative data. Three categories of migrants are initially identified on the basis of their intentions of stay in the UK. Multinomial logit models are then estimated to examine the characteristics of individuals in each category to establish the factors that influence migration strategies and changes in plans. Results indicate that although standard socio-economic characteristics tend to be insignificant, migration strategies and changes in intentions are affected by migrant’s view of whether their job matches their expectations, the time of entry into the UK and remittances. Analysis of the qualitative information reinforces some of the key findings and also indicates the importance of migrants’ ability to reference their experiences in two settings.