1363 Brits applied for French nationality in 2016 compared to 385 in 2015, according to Le Monde.
Worried about their rights as Brits in Europe, a record number of the ‘Queens subjects’ living in France decided to apply for French nationality in 2016 – 254% more than the year before.
According to estimates, between 150,000-400,000 Brits live on French soil, which shows that only a slim percentage have taken the decision to apply for nationality since Brexit.
But the spike does show that a considerable number of Brits are anxious about losing their EU residency privileges.
And early figures suggest that applications have increased even further in 2017.
The region of Picardie, for example, has received 27 since January. They received zero in 2016.
According the prefecture of l’Oise, who organise the applications region-wide, “these are British people who have been living in France for a long time, often married to French people.”
It is mostly older Brits filing the applications, according to the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine.
“In interviews, they say that Brexit prompted them to apply for French nationality, as they have real worries about the possibility of staying in France after the negotiations.”
Brexit negotiations are due to end in March 2019, and the nationalisation process takes roughly a year and a half.
Applicants must first prove they have been living in France for five years then provide a plethora of official documents, which must all be translated.
Then individuals then face an interview in French to evaluate their assimilation into French life.
They must show that they have “an adequate understanding of history, culture and French society.”
The equivalent statistics in Germany are even higher than those in France, however, with an ‘explosive rise’ in naturalisations of Brititish citizens – 361% between 2015 and 2016.
According to the Financial Times, the number of European citizens applying for British nationality rose by a third in the same period, with French people making up the largest portion of applicants.