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Anorak | Brexit: British federalists and ex-pats seek EU passports in other countries

Brexit: British federalists and ex-pats seek EU passports in other countries

by | 20th, October 2016

Brexit is impelling some people to make a choice: stay in the UK or live in the European Union? The Guardian reports that many Britons are appealing to become citizens in other countries.

The number of Britons seeking citizenship in other EU countries has surged as a result of the Brexit vote, with some member states recording near tenfold increases on 2015 figures.

The British are not queuing up to live in Romania and Bulgaria. The report says they fancy new lives in Denmark, Italy, Ireland and Sweden, which all report “spikes” in “citizens eager to secure proper status in the EU”.

Between January and October 2016, 2,800 Britons applied for citizenship in other EU countries. This, says the paper is a 250% increase on numbers recorded in 2015.

Compared with last year’s figures, numbers have surged almost tenfold in Denmark and threefold in Sweden.

Denmark might not be best best option. Many Danes want their own EU referendum on what is dubbed Dexit.

Several applicants told the Guardian that it was the Brexit vote that prompted them to take action.

The numbers are not big, are they. Under 3,000 Britons have applied to be non-British citizens in other countries. And “several” said Brexit promoted the move.

The Guardian was in favour of the country remaining in the EU. So too was the Independent, which said: “Brexit prompts surge in Britons applying for citizenship in EU countries.”

In April the FT noted:

The German embassy in London told the Financial Times that 200-250 requests for information on how to apply for citizenship have been received per day since the referendum result was announced, compared with an average of 20-25 daily inquiries a month earlier.

The Hungarian consulate has received 150 inquiries since the vote, while it said it had received less than 10 during the rest of this year.

How do you qualify?

It is hard to tell what the chances are of the citizenship applications succeeding — people living in the UK depend on their ancestry to qualify.

The German embassy said UK residents would need a German parent. “There are certainly quite a number of people where it seems obvious they won’t qualify. We don’t have any figures for that though,” said Norman Walter, a spokesman.

Other countries have more liberal conditions. Italy, which has received around 500 email requests at its UK embassy since the Brexit vote, offers citizenship to foreigners who can prove that at least one of their grandparents was Italian.

The same grandparent rule applies to anyone seeking an Irish passport.

And less glamorous destinations?

Yet that has not deterred inquiries for a Bulgarian passport. The country’s London embassy has received 15 citizenship inquiries by British people since June 24. “We usually don’t receive such kind of requests so this is a new thing for us,” said a spokesman.

Bloomberg aded:

Estonia said it had seen a “notable” increase in residency requests and Lithuania reported a rise in applications to 34 since June 23, from a typical average of one or two per month.

Meanwhile, you can always just be rich.

Malta and Cyprus are both in the EU, and both offer a fast-track to citizenship for people who are able to invest a significant amount of money.

Maltese citizenship is available to those who invest €1.15m (£965,000; $1.3m) there; the country added a one-year residency requirement after EU pressure. The scheme is aimed at “ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide”.

The Cypriot government offers citizenship to those who put €5m (£4.2m; $5.6m) into approved investments – this is reduced to just €2.5m for those taking part in a collective investment. Applicants need to have a property in Cyprus but do not need to live there all of the time. Family members are included in the application, which can take as little as three months.

Should you stay or should you go?



Posted: 20th, October 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink