Ireland’s foreign ministry announced passport applications from the United Kingdom surged 41 percent in the wake of last year’s Brexit referendum, CNN Money reports. Ireland has received nearly 65,000 British applications for citizenship since the UK voted to leave the EU.
Citizenship applications from Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, spiked 26.5 percent to nearly 68,000. During the referendum, voters in Northern Ireland narrowly supported remaining in the EU.
If the UK indeed leaves the EU, British citizens will lose the right to live and work in 27 other countries. Ireland is one of those 27 states that, at least for now, plan to remain in the EU.
Since Ireland is a country that offers citizenship by descent, Brits with Irish parents or grandparents are entitled to passports.
In the annual passport rankings released in early 2016, the UK ranked tied for third. Ireland was in a tie with Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, South Korea and Switzerland for the 15th best passport in the world.
The passport rankings are based on visa-free travel access. The number of countries a passport holder is allowed to reside in does not factor into the rankings.
Still, the UK could fall in the passport rankings if Brexit negotiations do not go well.
Shortly following the Brexit vote, embassies and consulates for EU members Germany, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Hungary also reported surges in interest in acquiring citizenship. Italy, like Ireland, has a well-known citizenship by descent program. Poland and Hungary also offer citizenship by descent.