Statement from the British Embassy in Berlin

The British Embassy posted the following statement on Facebook on Friday 5 April. Please find a copy of the statement below:

From the British Embassy today:

Dear all,

The British Embassy Berlin would like to draw your attention to these key sources of information for UK nationals living in Germany. We are grateful for your help in sharing this information with any UK nationals in your organisations and networks.

There are several steps which you can take to help prepare for the UK’s Exit from the EU. We recommend you take these practical steps as soon as possible. More information is available on the Living in Germany Guide, the UK government’s main source of information for UK nationals in Germany, which is regularly updated. You can sign up for email alerts.

Registration: You must ensure that you are correctly registered with your local residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) before the UK leaves the EU.

Residency: In addition, in all EU Exit scenarios, UK nationals living in Germany will need to apply for a new residence permit from their local Foreigners’ Authority (Ausländerbehörde). Please read the Federal Interior Ministry’s FAQs (in German, English translation to be published soon).

If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified, this can be done until at least the end of 2020.
In a no deal scenario, the German government is planning a transition period of initially three months, which they intend to extend by a further six, during which you can apply for a residence permit.

This application should be done irrespective of whether you have in the past been issued with an ‘unbefristete Aufenthaltserlaubnis’ or another residence permit.

Some Foreigners’ Authorities are already planning a voluntary registration/application procedure before the UK leaves the EU. Please see our guidance on Foreigners’ Authorities and complete your local process as soon as possible.

Passports and Travel: The rules for passport and travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival to any Schengen country, including Germany. This applies to adult and child passports. You can use this tool to check if your passport is valid before booking travel. In addition, in the case of a no deal scenario, if you need to leave and re-enter Germany before you have received your new residence permit, please plan more time at the border and take relevant documents, such as your registration certificate, social security confirmations, or work or rental contracts, with you.

Healthcare: If you are working in Germany and paying German social security contributions, your healthcare via a German health insurance provider (Krankenkasse) will not be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU. If your healthcare is currently covered via a S1 form and the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare may change. In this case, you should take out German health insurance. According to German no-deal legislation, you will be able to join a statutory health insurance (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) within three months of the UK leaving the EU, without being subject to the normal restrictions on age etc. You would be required to pay towards this insurance. For more information please read the Association of German Health Insurers’ Brexit FAQ.

In addition, your European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) might no longer be valid, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Visitors should therefore ensure they have comprehensive travel insurance before travelling. Students should make sure they have appropriate health insurance.

Driving: Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in Germany should exchange their UK licence for a German driving licence before the UK leaves the EU. Your local Bürgeramt will be able to advise on where you must go to do this. You will be allowed to drive on your German licence when visiting the UK. An International Driving Permit is not a suitable alternative to exchanging your licence. Visitors to Germany will be allowed to drive on their UK photocard driving licence. Paper licences will not be valid. For more information please read the Federal Ministry of Transport’s questions and answers about EU Exit (in German)

Professional Qualifications: If you hold UK professional qualifications you may need to get them recognised in Germany before exit day. Find out where you can request recognition of your qualifications in Germany (in German) and read the European Commission’s guidance on recognition of professional qualifications during EU Exit. For further information, please consult Anerkennung in Deutschland’s Brexit FAQs.
Civil servants: If you are employed as a civil servant (Beamte/r), you will need a permit to continue your employment after the UK has left the EU. Further information can be found here (in German). Please consult your employer.
We appreciate that this is a period of uncertainty and many of you want more information and advice. We want to help you prepare for all scenarios and are committed to ensuring relevant information is available in a transparent and accessible way.

To stay up to date, please sign up for email alerts on our Living in Germany Guide and follow Brits in Germany on Facebook. Members of your organisation might also be interested in attending one of our information events across Germany.

Please also share the attached leaflet with your British members.

Many thanks,

British Embassy

Amy McHugh • EU & Economic Support Officer • British Embassy • Wilhelmstrasse 70 • 10117 Berlin

Image: By Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France – L’Ambassade du Royaume-Uni (Berlin), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6791741