The Strategist

Number of EU citizenship requests greatly increased after Brexit

07/13/2016 - 16:31

After the UK's referendum to leave the EU ended, the British came to think about getting a second passport, which would allow them to live and work in the EU. Embassies of some European countries have noted that number of applications for citizenship filed from the British increased tenfold in the recent weeks.

Christopher Elison
Christopher Elison
In late June, the British had their cliff-hanging vote on leaving the EU structure. After the results were revealed, the citizens realized they are not willing to lose the advantages they enjoyed when their country was a part of the Pan-European community. They still want to keep freedom of movement, living and working in Europe. That is why British citizens have decided to get a second passport of one of European Union’s member countries.

According to the Financial Times, embassies of some European countries have recorded a multiple increase in the number of applications for citizenship filed from the British. Thus, according to the German Embassy in London, before the referendum, they received an average of 20-25 applications from British nationals daily. Once it became known that Brexit is going to happen, number of applications has increased ten times, up to 200-250 per day. Hungarian consulate is giving even more impressive numbers. Previously, virtually none of the British thought about getting a passport of that country. The embassy here had received only 10 applications since the beginning of the year and until 23 June. Over the past three weeks, their number reached 150. The Swedish Migration Service has also marked a huge jump in the number of applications. Earlier, there was an average of 20 British weekly asking for citizenship of their country. Then, two weeks after the referendum, the Service has already collected 316 similar requests. The Polish passport is also much sought after – there is already 350 applications compared to 100 for all of 2015.

However, citizenship of some European countries will not come easily to the British. For example, if you want to become owner of the German passport, you have to check that one of your parents is German. The prerequisites are more liberal in Italy. There, the applicant would need to prove that either his grandfather or grandmother on any of the parent branches were the Italians. This, however, may not be so simple: "Many families fled from Italy to the UK during the Second World War, and tried to hide their Italian origin on arrival. They spoke English only, and some even changed their names - said the representative of the Italian Embassy in the UK Francesco Ruiz. - Now, it seems, many Britons brought their Italian roots. Back to mind. Mr. Ruiz also notes that most of them would never have applied for citizenship in Italy, if the anti-Brexit activists won the referendum."

Previously, representatives of Ireland also reported an influx of applications. The country now offers the easiest conditions to obtain the citizenship for the British. The country's Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan even urged Britons to keep "calm".


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