Irish Passports in High Demand as Post-Brexit Brits Search for EU Options

As top Citizenship by Investment specialists have recently reported, the demand for Irish passports by disgruntled post-Brexit, Euro-centric Brits has escalated since the Great British public voted to leave the EU on June 23.

Brexit and Irish Passports

The Irish Solution To Brexit

Disgruntled post-Brexit UK residents who are fortunate enough to have an Irish parent, grandparent or great grandparent are eligible to claim Irish citizenship – and an EU passport. Ireland are long-standing members of the EU,  so those lucky Brits who can trace their bloodline back to the Emerald Isle are eligible for dual citizenship, with their Irish passport guaranteeing them EU status.

Such has been the demand for Irish passports this year in the lead up to and wake of Brexit, the Irish passport office was forced to employ an extra 200 members of staff, with that figure set to increase substantially as the demand for Irish citizenship intensifies, both on the British mainland and in Northern Ireland also.

Britain Divided

There is little doubt that Brexit has divided the UK like nothing else in living memory. Great Britain – once a country clearly divided by class, has largely, since the dawn of the 20th century been a nation united. Britons has stood together through two World Wars, and even accepted the policies of divisive and unpopular Prime Ministers.

However, the worry of increased immigration in one corner, and the fear of leaving the sanctity and protection of the EU in the other has led to the largest turnout in the country’s history, and its biggest divide since the Roundheads fought the Cavaliers.

Some 33.5 million UK citizens went to the polls, with 16.1 million voting to stay in the EU, while 17.4 voted to leave.

Will The British Public Be Punished For Brexit?

As the fifth biggest economy in the world, and the second largest in Europe (behind Germany), the UK’s exit will leave a gaping hole in the European Union that might never be plugged. The EU powers that be - headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel - are to put it mildly, furious as A) why Prime Minister David Cameron would have placed such responsibility in the hands of the “masses” and B), that the British public would then vote to leave their European brethren behind.

If Frau Merkel and her EU supporters wish to punish the British public directly, the easiest way would to restrict the British passport’s access to the EU, particularly the 26-nations Schengen Area. If the UK passport was given the same treatment that – for example - the Turkish passport currently holds, all UK citizens looking to travel to EU countries would first have to apply for the appropriate visas. As tens of millions of Brits holiday annually in Spain, France, Italy and Greece, the issue of visas looms as a bureaucratically and logistical nightmare for all concerned.

The Citizenship By Investment Option

It should be stated that the EU referendum was only advisory, is not legally binding, and the British government could ultimately choose to hold a second referendum, or ignore the result altogether.

For those high net worth individuals living in the UK who are not prepared to wait and see if the British government activates Article 50 and begins the separation process in earnest, another option could be Citizenship by Investment (CBI).

Citizenship by Investment is the legal process of acquiring second citizenship and a passport to a new country In return for a specific investment into the infrastructure of that country (often the purchase of real estate which can later be sold). EU countries that currently support a CBI program or something very similar include Germany, Austria, Portugal, Belgium and Austria.

Applicants must have no criminal convictions and be able to pass a stringent background test. The cost of CBI programs varies from less than €100,000 to several million, and depending on the country, time spent in residency of the country chosen can be substantial or minimal.

Two of the best value CBI programs are those of Hungary and Greece. For a minimum outlay of a $75,000 real estate investment and no residency requirements, one can receive Hungarian citizenship and a passport in six months or less.

The Greece CBI is similarly appealing, with full Greek citizenship and a passport granted after just three months following a $95,000 property investment. As $75-95,000 is about the going rate for a new Range Rover or a full loft conversion, the acquisition of a prime piece of real estate with the added bonus of the citizenship and passport to an EU country looking to remain just that for the foreseeable future is a complete no-brainer.

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