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Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden

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Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
A Swedish passport. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
06:30 CEST+02:00
Sweden saw a record spike last week in the number of Britons applying for citizenship.

Sweden’s Migration Agency said 129 Brits filed for citizenship, compared to a weekly average of around 20. More than 100 of the new applications came over the Midsummer holiday weekend in the days after the UK vote, Sveriges Radio reports. 

Annette Grafen Silander, the head of the agency’s citizenship unit, told the network:

“It’s a record for a week, but it’s too early to say if it’s a trend that will continue.” 

Speaking to The Local the day after the vote, Paul Sonkamble, a music business manager from London, said:

“I applied for Swedish citizenship two weeks ago, not only from a moral perspective, but as someone who works with touring musicians that rely on me not being stuck at borders, as they and the equipment they travel with travel between European capitals with ease.”

Nazia Hussain, a British entrepreneur now living in Skellefteå, northern Sweden, was shocked by the result and hopeful she would eventually get a Swedish passport.

“My initial reaction was that Britain is going backwards rather than forwards and I was so upset. Having lived here for almost three years, I am now confident that this is where I want to be, so I hope that by the time Britain is out of the EU, I will have managed to acquire Swedish nationality and so remain in the EU. I don’t think I want to go back to the UK to live as I am grateful for living here.”

The most recent available statistics show there were 19,782 UK citizens without Swedish passports living in Sweden in 2015.

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