The United Kingdom has now overtaken France and Switzerland in terms of the countries where Portuguese citizens have most applied for dual nationality.
In 2021 2,561 Portuguese citizens acquired British nationality, the majority by right of being permanent residents or through the registration of under 18s — up 25% on 2020.
This is according to the Portuguese Emigration Observatory which confirmed the growing trend of Portuguese nationals living and working in the United Kingdom seeking dual citizenship since the Brexit referendum in 2016.
According to the UK Home Office, the number had already skyrocketed to 2,227 in 2019, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on public services also affected this process, reducing the number of administrative cases approved.
In the first three months of 2022 2,066 Portuguese had acquired British nationality. In 2015, the year before the referendum, only 422 Portuguese had acquired British nationality, an amount that has grown rapidly since then: 627 in 2016, 1,234 in 2017, 1,906 in 2018 and 2,227 in 2019.
The Home Office has confirmed that the EU citizens represented almost one-third (32%) of all requests for British nationality in 2021 compared to 16% in 2016.