Indians Among Top Recipients of EU Citizenship in 2016

As many as 41,700 Indians received citizenship in the European Union in 2016.


European Union (EU) member states granted citizenship to almost 1 million persons in 2016, of which Moroccans, Albanians and Indians were the main recipients, according to official Eurostat data.

Maximum citizenship was given to people of Morocco (101,300 persons), Albania (67,500) and India (41,700). Among the 41,700 Indians, 59.1 per cent were granted a UK citizenship, while 22.9 per cent got Italian citizenship and 3.7 per cent became German citizens.

India was the third main recipient of citizenships granted by EU member states in 2016, with 4.2 per cent.

In the United Kingdom, 16.1 per cent of those granted citizenship were Indians, which amounted to 24,000 people. Indians seeking citizenship in the United Kingdom were not limited to England. At least 10.2 per cent (1,023 people) of those granted citizenship in Ireland were Indians.

More than 50 per cent of 32,900 Pakistanis who received citizenship in the EU were granted citizenship in Britain.

Moroccans, Albanians, Indians, Pakistanis, Turks, Romanians, and Ukrainians together represented about a third (33 per cent) of the total number of persons who acquired citizenship of an EU member state in 2016, which was the year of Brexit.

As much as 20.9 per cent Asians received citizenship in the EU in 2016. The people who applied for citizenship not in Britain but in other EU member states can become citizens of Britain also before 2020, which is when the United Kingdom’s break from the European Union takes place.

The data published by Eurostat shows that 6,555 British nationals acquired citizenship in a European Union member country in 2016, up from 2,478 in 2015. Most of them — 2,702 in total — opted for a German citizenship, followed by France (517) and Belgium (506).

“We are seeing a Brexodus of people giving up their passports and rushing to take citizenship in EU countries as Brexit draws near,” Paul Butters, a spokesperson for the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign, told the Independent.

“People have done this to give themselves some security. This should make David Davis ashamed that people feel they have no option but to give up their citizenship or apply to be a dual national. These people are giving up part of their identity to try to secure their future,” he added.

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