Following the Brexit vote, the UK saw a surge in EU nationals seeking British citizenship. In fact, the number of applications more than tripled. Applications from citizens of France, Germany, and Italy more than quadrupled to reach their highest level in at least seven years.

It is unclear how many of the applicants had existing ties to the UK but The Independent interviewed a few long-time residents who reported feeling extra pressure to secure British citizenship in the face of impending Brexit changes. Stephanie Ben-arros told The Independent that even though she was married to a British man and had been living in the UK for 17 years, she felt she needed to be able to “prove” her right to continue living in the country. After the Brexit vote she applied for Permanent Residency which would be a pathway to eventually gaining UK citizenship.

Stephanie Ben-arros, a French national married to a British man who has been living in the UK for 17 years, told The Independent that after the Brexit vote she decided to apply for Permanent Residency (PR), which would enable her to get UK citizenship.

Poland continued to lead the way with the highest total number of applications but the number of applicants increased across the EU. In addition to France, Germany, and Italy, Spanish nationals tripled in the number of applications. Because of ongoing concerns about the impact of Brexit, these higher volumes of UK citizenship applications are expected to continue as people from throughout the EU seek to solidify their ongoing access to the UK, regardless of the assurances of the pre-settlement and settlement status easy process.  Many who have been living in the UK, see this as the right time to get their UK immigration affairs in order, to enhance their benefits and secure the future of their families.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the UK, EU & the Caribbean.

For further information on UK Tier 1 Investor Visas or UK Citizenship, or to discuss your personal citizenship requirements and circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected]  or call +44 207 292 2977.