More than 350,000 Brits have applied for a non-UK passport as an insurance policy post-Brexit, in the hope that it will grant them immunity from any negative outcomes of exiting the EU.
This surge has been rising steadily since the result of the EU referendum back in 2016, with some even forfeiting their British passport to retain their EU rights after Brexit.
For many this is a protest against Brexit, and a way to show their personal connection to the EU, and for others it shows nothing more than a desire to get through airport security as quickly as possible.
No matter the reason, the sheer amount of people going for a different passport is hard to ignore.
One of the more popular countries people are applying for an alternate passport is Ireland, due to the close ties between Ireland and the UK and the fact that many English people can claim blood ties to Ireland in their ancestry.
However, there has also been high amounts of applications for French, Swedish and German passports as well, showing a tenfold rise in naturalisation of British citizens.
In Sweden the number of passports granted to Britons between 2016 and 2019 rose from 942 to 4,267, while in Germany they rocketed from 622 in 2015 to 6,640 in 2018, with figures for 2019 expected to show another increase.
Spain, Denmark and Finland have also shown sharp increases in British people applying for passports and naturalisation.
Just over 32,000 citizens in Northern Ireland and Great Britain applied to receive Irish passports in 2015 for the first time. This has almost quadrupled in the last four years with figures for 2019 showing 131,817 new applications for Irish passports, with nearly 55,000 from GB alone.
What’s the point?
As Ireland is still a member of the EU, an Irish passport will allow holders to bypass the effects of the UK leaving the EU.
Are you eligible for Irish citizenship?
Around five million Brits are eligible for an Irish passport. You can apply if:
- If either of your parents was an Irish citizen born in Ireland, or if you were born in Ireland to Irish parents, you are automatically a citizen.
- If any of your grandparents were born in Ireland, you are eligible for citizenship by descent, but you must first register your birth on the Foreign Births Register.
- If your parents were foreign nationals legally resident in the island of Ireland for three out of the four years prior to your birth, you are entitled to citizenship.
- If at least one of your parents was an Irish citizen but not by birth, ie by naturalisation or marriage, you can become an Irish citizen after registering your birth on the Foreign Births Register.
- You can also become a citizen through naturalisation, either as a migrant or through a spouse. The requirements are complex – you can read them here.
All the information you need about applying for an Irish passport is here.
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