Britons eye Maltese citizenship amid Brexit fears

Applicants from UK have almost doubled over the past three years for Maltese citizenship

Applications for Maltese citizenship filed every year by British nationals have almost doubled in number since the 2016 Brexit vote.

A total of 619 applications for citizenship by naturalisation were received last year, compared to 382 in 2016, government data shows. The upward trend continued this year, with 704 UK nationals applying to become Maltese citizens in the first 10 months.

Such citizenship applications were distinct from those filed under the Individual Investors' Programme (IIP) and neither were they for residence permits or visas, a spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister said.

Applicants qualified for such citizenship either through a familial connection or after having resided in Malta for several years, he added.

The Brexit effect on citizenship applications is evident when pre-2016 figures are considered. Applications for citizenship from UK nationals numbered 203 in 2013, dropping to 152 in 2014 and rising to 199 the following year.

704 UK nationals applied to become Maltese citizens in the first 10 months in 2018

According to the Independent of London, Eurostat figures show that 6,555 British nationals acquired citizenship of another EU member state in 2016, up from 2,478 the previous year.

Germany was the Britons' preferred choice, attracting 2,702 UK nationals. France and Belgium followed with 517 and 506 citizens each, the Independent reported.

A spokesman for the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign had dubbed the flurry of applications “a Brexodus”.

21 Dec 2018

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