How Brexit pushed thousands of Brits to get German citizenship

How Brexit pushed thousands of Brits to get German citizenship
A German passport. Photo: DPA
Brits are driving an increase in the number of foreigners getting German citizenship, official figures show.

In 2019, roughly 128,900 foreigners obtained German citizenship. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported on Wednesday that the number of naturalisations was up by 16,600 – 15 percent – on the previous year, reaching the highest level since 2003. 

And, almost half of the increase (+8,000) is due to the growing numbers of Britons applying for a German passport.

In 2019, more Britons – a total of 14,600 – received German citizenship than in the preceding two years altogether. In 2018 the number was 6,600 and in 2017 it was 7,500.

In 2015 – before the EU referendum held in the UK – roughly 600 Britons obtained a German passport.

Britain left the EU on January 31st this year after years of negotiations. As The Local has been reporting since the 2016 referendum, many Brits have chosen to apply for German citizenship due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and their rights.

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See also on The Local:

READ ALSO: Number of Brits leaving UK for Germany at 10-year high due to 'uncertainty surrounding Brexit'

British citizens stand to lose European citizenship rights such as freedom of movement or recognition of qualifications due to Britain leaving the bloc.

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Obtaining a nationality of an EU member state is a way for British citizens to guarantee maintaining EU citizenship rights that many people's professional and personal livelihoods over the years have come to depend on.

Britons have until the end of the transition period (currently December 31st 2020 but that could change) to apply for German citizenship if they meet the criteria, and they'll still be able to keep their British citizenship.

After the transition period Brits applying for a German citizenship will have to give up their British citizenship.


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