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Brexit: Record number of Brits become German citizens

16 June 2017

Germany's federal statistics office said 2,865 Britons took German citizenship a year ago.

The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday that 2,865 Britons became German citizens in 2016.

"A connection with Brexit is obvious", the statistic office said, noting it was the highest ever recorded number for British citizens.

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The figure is expected to be even higher for 2017 as most Britons didn't apply until after the June referendum and the majority of applications take between six months and a year to process.

In total, 2,865 Britons took German citizenship previous year, the office said.

There is a particular urgency in Germany's case, which is down to the country's strict rules on dual citizenship.

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The largest group of people taking up German citizenship came from Turkey, although the total of 16,290 was down 17.3% from a year ago. European Union and Swiss nationals are allowed to become German citizens and keep their other passports, but everybody else has to satisfy certain criteria-not applicable to many Brits-or else be forced to renounce their previous citizenship in favor of becoming German. Of the 110,400 foreigners naturalized a year ago, the biggest group was from Turkey, followed by Poles, Ukrainians, Kosovars and Romanians.

Foreigners can apply for German citizenship after eight years of residence.

The average new German citizen is 33 years old and has been living in Germany for 17 years.

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