As a result of the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union known as the ‘Brexit vote’, German nationals who reside in the United Kingdom are complaining about the waiting time needed to get their passport renewals. This delay – which appears to be extraordinary – is affecting not only the German embassy in London but also the rest of the United Kingdom.
According to DW, German citizens resident in the UK have to wait months to renew their passports, while at the same time, British nationals’ applications for German citizenship have surged dramatically. The delay is said to be linked with an increase in the amount of inquiries the German embassy has to process regarding obtaining citizenship.
“The number of inquiries has increased noticeably after June 23, 2016.” A spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs was quoted as saying.
Despite rumors regarding Nigel Farage’s application for German citizenship being denied, the trend seems to be confirmed by the number of applications that Brits are filing also for other EU nationalities.
As an outcome of the vote in favor of Britain leaving the European Union, the number of British citizens inquiring about other citizenship has soared, with Germany and Ireland the most popular countries.
Ireland’s embassy and post offices received 4,000 inquiries about citizenship on the Monday after the referendum. It usually receives about 200 per day.
The German Embassy in London told reporters that in the first week after the referendum, it fielded around 200 inquiries a day, showing a dramatic increase from the usual 20 or so daily requests for information.
While this initial surge eventually diminished, a constant flow of around 100 inquiries per day has continued throughout the last months.
There are several means by which a British citizen can qualify for Germany nationality. The easiest and most frequent possibility is to prove that the applicant is linked with some German relatives in his family. The alternative is to spend a minimum period of continual stay in Germany and pass a language skills and naturalization test, similar to the citizenship test for some other European countries.
Recently there was also a surge in the number of applicants for German citizenship coming from descendants of Jewish refugees that had to flee the UK to escape the Nazi persecution, although successful approval is hard to obtain due to the lack of official documentation.