2017 on track for new record of Brits seeking Swedish citizenship

2017 on track for new record of Brits seeking Swedish citizenship
Photo: ruskpp/Depositphotos
More Brits than ever applied for Swedish passports in 2016, and preliminary figures from the Migration Agency show that last year's record could be beaten in 2017.
As reported previously by The Local, a total of 1521 Britons applied for Swedish citizenship in 2016 – more than three times the amount of applications filed in 2015, which was 441.
In connection with Sweden's National Day on June 6th, which is the day citizenship ceremonies are held across the country, the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) released figures for 2017 so far
Judging by those figures, it looks as though the trend is continuing: during spring 2017, a total of 959 applications from Brits wanting to become Swedish citizens were submitted to the agency.
If that interest in Swedish citizenship is maintained throughout the year, the figure could land even higher than last year, Migrationsverket notes.
The most obvious reason for the drastic spike in Swedish passport applications is, of course, Brexit.
Brexit was, however, not the reason why a Swedish passport was tempting to Robert Whelan, a former British Army officer who now works at an online marketing company in Sweden.
“My choice of Swedish citizenship has nothing to do with Brexit,” Whelan told Migrationsverket.
“I applied because my wife is Swedish, and our child is of dual nationality. I applied before the referendum, and still have my British passport,” he said.
Whelan told Migrationsverket he thought many Britons who choose to become citizens of Sweden or other European countries do so because they have discovered practical reasons for it, or as a precautionary measure.
“That way they can keep one foot in the UK and one in Europe, which gives them options facing an uncertain future,” he said.