Number of Britons granted German citizenship quadruples

Posted June 14, 2017

German authorities granted citizenship to 2,865 United Kingdom nationals a year ago, compared with about 600 in 2015, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

A record number of Britons took German citizenship in 2016 as the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, according to the German Federal Statistics Office.

"The link to Brexit seems clear", the statistics office said.

"This is the highest ever level of registered British citizens".

It comes after United Kingdom applications for Irish passports surged by 70% in 2017 as Britons applied to retain European Union citizenship in the wake of the Brexit vote.

If and when Britain leaves the European Union as well as its single market, British citizens are likely to lose their right to live and work across the 27-nation regional body. And since it takes several months to complete the application process, Brits who applied after the Brexit referendum last June may not get their passports until this year, suggesting another big jump in naturalizations in 2017. In all, 110,383 people were given German citizenship a year ago, a 2.9% increase.

Of the 110,400 foreigners naturalized previous year, the biggest group was from Turkey, followed by Poles, Ukrainians, Kosovars and Romanians.

According to the statistics presented, on average naturalized citizens were 33 years of age and had resided in Germany for 17 years.

Some 6,632 Poles became Germans in 2016, an increase of 11.3 per cent.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.