All posts by Alex C

New Report: Identity, Belonging and Representation Post-Brexit

Who are the British in Europe post-Brexit and how do they see themselves?

The report “Identity, Belonging, and Representation Post-Brexit among British citizens among British Citizens in the EU/EEA and Switzerland” by Tanja Bueltmann draws on a detailed survey of British citizens living in Europe to review the impact of Brexit on British citizens’ sense of identity and belonging.

Through qualitative research, the author explores how Brexit has affected how individuals understand and identify with their nationality, as well as their perceptions of representation in the UK and Europe.

Main findings and key themes:

  • Survey respondents constitute a relatively highly mobile group, with around a third having previous migration experience.
  • A plurality of respondents moved to the EU/EEA/Switzerland for work and/or personal reasons, such as moving with a partner/family.
  • Only 17.7% of survey respondents moved to the EU/EEA/Switzerland to retire, providing further evidence that the common characterisation of British citizens in the EU as a group primarily comprised of ‘expat retirees’ is misleading at best.
  • 76.6% of respondents plan to live in the EU/EEA/Switzerland permanently.
  • 65.7% of respondents agree that Brexit has increased the likelihood of them staying in the EU/EEA or Switzerland.

The study also highlights the complexities of national identity and how this has been challenged and reshaped by Brexit.

Download now: Identity, Belonging and Representation Post-Brexit

For more facts and figures related to British in Germany see here.

 

British in Germany e.V. is run by volunteers all giving their time and their expertise for free. We therefore value your membership for 15 Euros a year, which goes towards expenses incurred in running the organisation. You can join here.

Dual Citizenship: German government planning new law

A draft law aimed at making it easier to acquire German citizenship for people who have lived in Germany for 5 years or more is currently being prepared by the German federal government.

The proposed law, if enacted may permit applicants to retain their original citizenship, while getting German citizenship in addition.  It is also being proposed to allow people to gain German citizenship after just three years living in Germany if they are especially well integrated and speak good German.

Currently, the process of obtaining citizenship in Germany often requires individuals to reside in the country for up to eight years and for non-EU citizens to surrender their original citizenship.  Over 70,000 Brits in Germany now have dual British-German citizenship, as they applied for German citizenship before the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020, allowing them to keep their British citizenship.  That is now no longer possible.

The proposed changes to the law have been welcomed by British in Germany because they offer an opportunity for those who were not able to benefit from gaining EU/German citizenship before the Brexit transition period, to potentially still do so, creating less of a division in rights amongst British citizens living in Germany.

The new law, if passed, would bring numerous benefits for British citizens if they acquired dual citizenship  including the right to vote in all elections and the right to free movement to live and work in other EU member states, something that British citizens have lost as a result of Brexit. At the same time, it would allow British citizens to preserve their rights in the UK, allowing them for example to work in the UK or if they needed to return to care for older relatives, which is quite often the case.

The German coalition government has expressed its intention to enact the law by the summer of 2023. British in Germany will be following developments closely and keeping our members updated.

To find out more about current citizenship regulations see here.

Some recent press coverage of the changes:

https://www.dw.com/en/germanys-dual-citizenship-reforms-way-overdue-say-immigrants/a-63987066

https://www.iamexpat.de/expat-info/german-expat-news/what-written-germanys-dual-citizenship-draft-law

https://www.ft.com/content/9c3782ef-4ae0-4294-8be5-49d37c4867e1#comments-anchor

https://www.thelocal.de/20221216/explained-who-are-the-people-taking-german-citizenship

British in Germany e.V. is run by volunteers all giving their time and their expertise for free. We therefore value your membership for 15 Euros a year, which goes towards expenses incurred in running the organisation. You can join here.

Driving in Germany

Holders of a British driving licence can drive in Germany if they are visiting temporarily (e.g. on holiday).

If you are resident in Germany and intend to continue driving here, then you need to exchange your UK driving licence for a German one.

UK driving licence holders living in Germany can drive on their valid UK licence for 6 months after moving to Germany. After this time, your UK licence is not valid for driving in Germany.

You can exchange your UK licence for a German one at any time after moving to Germany. The Fahrerlaubnisbehörde” (driver licencing authority) in your local Stadt or Kreis are responsible for exchanging licences.

You do not need to take a theory or practical driving test to exchange your licence. You may need to undergo an eye test or present a medical certificate, depending on your driving licence category.

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

What do you need to do to exchange your licence?

  1. To apply, contact the “Fahrerlaubnisbehörde” (driver licencing authority) in your local Stadt or Kreis.
  2. You will be charged a fee.
  3. You may need to provide a notarised translation of your UK licence.

What if you return to live in the UK later?
The UK government Living in Germany information confirms that if you return to the UK in future, you can exchange your German driving licence for a UK licence without taking another test: Driving in Germany

Useful resources:
In 2022, the UK was added to the fact sheet  for holders of foreign driving licences from states outside the European Union and the European Economic Area: Driving-licence-provisions-fact-sheet

Information from the UK government about living in Germany and driving licences is here: Driving in Germany

Additional links:
A good and authoritative general source regarding driving licences in Germany is the English-language web page of the German transport ministry: Validity of foreign driving licences in Germany 

If you hold a licence from another EU country, then this should continue to be valid without needing to be exchanged for a German licence. Further information on driving licences in the EU is here: EU-driving-licence-recognition-validity

There is also a German fact sheet for holders of licences from EU and EEA states: Fact-sheet-EU-EEA-driving-licences

Voting in the UK – your input

Are you concerned about your voting rights in the UK?  Living in Germany?  Or anywhere else outside the UK?

Around 3.4 million British citizens living overseas are disenfranchised. More than 60% of British citizens living in the EU had no vote in the UK EU referendum that led to the removal of our EU citizenship rights and changed our lives forever.

The Elections Act 2022 restores lifelong voting rights for UK citizens living overseas. BUT the Act still needs to be implemented. Until so-called ‘secondary legislation’ goes live in the UK, the Act is more theory than practice.

Help British in Europe campaign to make sure that  secondary legislation is in place before the next national election, and that the processes to register and vote will work for all of us, you included.

https://www.britishineurope.org/page/1016442-home

You will find more information about what British in Europe is doing on the link above.  The statistics from the survey will help to explain our situation and views to the UK government and institutions.

Whatever you think, don’t miss this chance. And pass the word on to friends and relatives worldwide.  This is not just about Europe, but also about British citizens living in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

Visa requirements for arrivals post-Brexit (after Dec 2020)

Are you travelling to Germany as a tourist, on business, for studies, to work, or maybe to join family members who live there?

There are lots of different reasons British citizens want to travel to, or move to Germany and the German government has provided a lot of helpful information,  to help you to understand which visa you need based on your individual situation.

All British citizens are allowed to travel to Germany and the whole Schengen area without a visa for 90 days in any 180 day period. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.

For those that want to stay longer in Germany, or find out options on future longer stays or living in Germany, below is a list of useful links to pages that we have checked, that should help you with most of what you are looking for.

If you were living in Germany at the end of transition on 31st December 2020, and you are covered by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, you do not need a visa.

UK performing artists no longer have free movement rights to travel and work across the EU. Those wanting to work or tour in Germany should inform themselves of the specific requirements and responsibilities, links listed below.

The Vander Elst Visa is also worth considering for third country nationals who are employees of EU companies and wish to to work on temporary assignments, links listed below.

Visa Navigator
Which visa do I need for Germany?
https://visa.diplo.de/en/index.html#/vib

Visa Navigator – Visa Categories
https://visa.diplo.de/en/index.html#/vib/kurzinfo

Do I need a visa?
This article tells you whether you need a visa for Germany.
https://uk.diplo.de/uk-en/02/visa/do-i-need-a-visa/2442126?openAccordionId=item-2442128-0-panel

Visa information – Visa Services at the German Missions in the UK
https://uk.diplo.de/uk-en/02/visa

German missions in the United Kingdom
https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/aussenpolitik/laenderinformationen/grossbritannien-node/unitedkingdom-gr/218924?openAccordionId=item-236048-0-panel

FAQ and other important information
https://uk.diplo.de/uk-en/02/visa/visa-faq/2442852?openAccordionId=item-2463630-13-panel

UK performing artists
https://www.touring-artists.info/en/ressourcen/brexit/uk-to-germany

https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/musicians-working-and-touring-in-the-european-union/

https://musiciansunion.org.uk/working-performing/working-overseas/working-in-the-eu

Vander Elst Visa
Germany has a specific Visa for this, which you apply for in your host EU country.
https://www.zoll.de/EN/Businesses/Work/Foreign-domiciled-employers-posting/Residence-title/Nationals-of-third-countries/uebersicht_aufenthaltstitel.htm

https://wien.diplo.de/blob/1995750/cb0640d10768c708aa18632777400b0a/vander-elst—grenzueberschreitende-dienstleistungserbringung—data.pdf

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A61993CJ0043