BERLIN (Reuters) – German consulates in the United States have seen a significant rise in requests for citizenship since November 2016, when Donald Trump was elected president, data collected by the German foreign ministry shows.
Total citizenship applications – including those filed by U.S. citizens already living in Germany – are reported yearly, with data for this year not expected until summer 2018.
However, German consulates receive citizenship requests filed overseas, including those filed by former Germans who were stripped of their citizenship during the Nazi era.
“The German government’s offices in the United States are currently seeing a significant increase in legal queries related to citizenship issues,” the German interior ministry said in response to an official query by the Greens party.
Applications do not ask why an applicant wants to become a citizen, so the reasons for the increase are a matter of conjecture. But applications by German stripped of citizenship during the Nazi era and their descendants rose sharply after the U.S. election in early November.
Such applications climbed from 92 in October 2016 to 124 in November, 144 in December and 159 in January 2017. At least 100 people living in the United States have applied every month through June.
Data from the German foreign ministry showed that, all told, 1,190 such applicants sought citizenship in the first eight months of 2017, compared with 792 in the full year of 2016.
Germany has also seen a surge in British nationals applying for German citizenship since the country voted to leave the European Union last year.
The Federal Statistics Office said a total of 110,400 foreigners took up German citizenship last year, a 2.9 percent increase from the previous year, with Britons making up the largest share of the increase.