All posts by Andrew

Updates: Travel, Shopping and Residency

With a new Agreement between the UK and the EU being concluded just before Christmas and with our Withdrawal Agreement rights coming into effect, never mind the impact that the Covid-19 virus is having on travel, The Local – the largest English-language news network in Europe with five million readers every month – has reported on it all, often with assistance from British in Germany.

Find reports on:

  • the difficulties being experienced establishing your Withdrawal Agreement rights –

‘A big worry’: Why Britons living in Germany still face bureaucratic headaches over Brexit

  • the changes and problems with online shopping in the UK and the use of UK streaming services –

How the Brexit deal has changed daily lives of British residents in Europe

  • and the latest on travel, both Covid-19 and Brexit related –

‘Utter nightmare’: Brits barred from flights home to Germany amid travel chaos

UPDATE: British residents of EU told not to worry about ‘souvenir’ passport stamps

The British Embassy, the British in Germany and the British in Europe Facebook Groups are also a valuable source of updates as the situations evolve.

Image: Alpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/, Original Author: Nick Youngson – http://www.nyphotographic.com/

British Embassy Facebook Q&A – Answers

The British Embassy runs InfoAbends and Facebook Q&A Sessions for those with questions regarding Brexit.

Settled in Germany?The most recent scheduled Facebook Q&A Session was held on Monday 11 January 2021, 5pm – 6.30pm.

You can see questions and answers here Embassy Facebook Q&A, 11 Jan .

More information regarding Embassy Events and the results of previous Facebook Q&A session can be found on the UK Government Website.

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

German-English Useful Vocabulary List

Official German can be confusing at the best of times – even for native speakers. When it comes to talking around residence rights it is important to know and be able to use the correct terms, as using the wrong vocabulary has the potential to cause serious problems. You also need to be aware if officials are using the wrong terminology with you, in case that indicates a misunderstanding of your situation and you being given less favourable conditions than those you are entitled to. 

With that in mind, we have put together a quick introduction to terms you need to know (and those you need to avoid). 

German-English vocabulary list: 

Aufenthaltsdokument-GB – GB-residence document
Aufenthaltserlaubnis – residence permit
Aufenthaltsrecht – right of residence
Aufenthaltsstatus – residence status
Aufenthaltstitel – residence title
Aufenthaltsgesetz – Residence Act
Ausländerbehörde (might be known locally by another name such as Migrationsamt, Einwanderungsamt or similar) – Foreigners Registration Authority
Austrittsabkommen – Withdrawal Agreement
Bescheinigung über das Daueraufenthaltsrecht für Unionsbürger – Certificate of permanent residence for EU citizens
Daueraufenthaltsrecht – right of permanent residence
Drittstaatsangehörige(r) – Third Country National
Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU – EU Long term residence permit
freizügigkeitsberechtigt – entitled to free movement
Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU – Freedom of Movement Act/EU
Niederlassungserlaubnis – settlement permit 

In practice

Here we now put these terms into action to explain further what they mean in practice (we’ve also included a bilingual summary of the information at the end): 

Residence status under the Withdrawal Agreement and Freedom of Movement Act/EU

For British citizens who are in scope, your new residence status (Aufenthaltsstatus) is obtained automatically by law (kraft Gesetzes) under Article 18(4) of the Withdrawal Agreement (Austrittsabkommen) in combination with Paragraph 16 of the German Freedom of Movement Act/EU (§ 16 Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU). 

You should notify the Ausländerbehörde of your residence in Germany (den Aufenthalt in Deutschland bei der Ausländerbehörde anzeigen). NB: This is not the same as registering when you move into a new property (Anmeldung einer Wohnung) – it is something completely separate. 

Once you have notified them of your residence, the Ausländerbehörde should contact you to let you know the process for them issuing you with a new GB-residence document (Ausstellung eines Aufenthalsdokuments-GB). They should do this ex officio (von Amts wegen), i.e. it is not something for which you need to submit an application (Antrag) as such, even if you may need to fill in a form with some basic details.

You do not need to submit an application for a residence title to be granted (einen Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels stellen), as this is something completely different, see below for more information. Be aware of Ausländerbehörden asking you to fill in the incorrect form. 

For further details, see our British in Germany brief guide to what you need to get a GB-residence document. Further information can also be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) in both English and German

Residence titles: residence status for Third Country Nationals under the Residence Act 

Residence titles (Aufenthaltstitel), fall under the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz) and not the Freedom of Movement Act/EU. There are four main types of residence title, two from domestic German law and two from European law. 

The residence titles from German law are: 

  • residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) – a temporary status 
  • settlement permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis) – a permanent / long-term status 

The residence titles from European law are: 

  • EU Blue card (Blaue Karte EU) – a temporary status, similar to the German resident permit 
  • EU Long term residence permit (Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU) – a permanent / long-term status, similar to the German settlement permit. 

Additional residence titles are the visa (Visum), as well as the ICT Card (ICT Karte) and the Mobile ICT Card (Mobile ICT-Karte) – NB: ICT stands here for intra-corporate transfer. 

A residence title is not gained automatically but rather must be granted (erteilt) by the Ausländerbehörde following an application. 

It is important that you are aware that if you have a right of residence (Aufenthaltsrecht) under the Withdrawal Agreement, then you do not fall under the general Residence Act, which is what applies to most non-EU citizens in Germany. This is a very important distinction. The conditions under the Residence Act are much stricter and in some cases the rights attached are much less favourable. 

There are some cases where you might wish to apply for a residence title under the Residence Act in addition to your automatic residence status under the Withdrawal Agreement. For example, the two residence titles from European law provide limited rights that can make it easier to move to another EU country. If you chose to apply for a residence title in addition to your status under Withdrawal Agreement, then you must of course meet all the normal relevant criteria the same as any other Third Country National (Drittstaatsangehörige/r). 

In summary

English

British citizens who are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement obtain a right of residence in Germany by virtue of law (German Freedom of Movement Act/EU). No application is required. Affected Brits should notify their local Foreigners Registration Authority of their residence in Germany. Following this they will be issued with a GB-residence document. They do not have to apply for a residence title to be granted under Germany’s Residence Act (e.g. a residence permit or a settlement). They may, however, possess both a residence status under the Withdrawal Agreement and a residence title under the Residence Act at the same time. 

Deutsch

Britische Staatsangehörige, die nach dem Austrittsabkommen begünstigt sind, erhalten kraft Gesetzes (Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU) ein Aufenthaltsrecht in Deutschland. Dazu bedarf es keines Antrages. Betroffene Brit:innen sollten ihren Aufenthalt in Deutschland bei der örtlichen Ausländerbehörde anzeigen. Infolgedessen wird ihnen ein Aufenthaltsdokument-GB ausgestellt. Sie müssen keinen Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels nach dem Aufenthaltsgesetzes (z.B. die Aufenthaltserlaubnis oder die Niederlassungserlaubnis) stellen. Sie dürfen jedoch sowohl ein Aufenthaltsrecht nach dem Austrittsabkommen als auch einen Aufenthaltstitel nach dem Aufenthaltsgesetz gleichzeitig besitzen.

 

Main image: Gerd Altmann  pixabay

S1 Healthcare holders need new EHIC cards

UK Nationals who are resident in Germany and have their healthcare costs covered by the “S1” agreement (so people in receipt of a UK pension amongst others) now need to apply for a new UK issued EHIC card.

The process should be simple and only requires you to register at the new NHS European Health Insurance Card website with the details used on your S1 application – your name and Date of Birth should suffice.

Some people have reported that they have not been matched on the site despite holding an S1 form. This may be because your Krankenkasse has not registered you with the NHS after accepting your application and you will need to contact your Krankenkasse to resolve this.

Other groups with S1-like cover will be able to apply later.

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

Updated Guides from British in Europe

British in Europe have been working hard and are producing a new set up updated guides providing information for UK Citizens resident in the EU.

This page will be updated as new guides appear but currently there are guides on:

Residency Rights and Procedures

Residency Rights and Procedures

Family Members, Future Family Reunification and Dual Nationals

Family Members, Future Family Reunification and Dual Nationals

Social Security Coordination; Benefits, Pensions & Health Care

Click on the icon to be redirected to the British in Europe website.

If you find these guides useful, donate to British in Europe. They need your financial support to continue with their advocacy and information provision.

Leipzig Stammtisch 23rd October

The third Leipzig Stammtisch will take place at

Place: the Moritzbastei, Kurt-Masur-Platz 1, 04109 Leipzig

On: Friday 23rd October 2020

Time: 19:00 – 21:00.

A relaxed, informal evening to meet others, chat, ask questions and find support, all nationalities are welcome. There will be information about the Withdrawal Agreement and what it means for Brits in Germany now and after the transition period ends. If you’d rather speak about anything else other than Brexit, then that would be welcome too!

Update: An earlier version said Thursday. This has now been corrected.

Added: Image: By Krzysztof Golik – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82239058

Right to return to UK with your non-UK partner a step closer

Update: Further to the success in the House of Lords, the bill will now return to the Commons where there will be further votes. Please see the article on the British in Europe Website on how you can lobby your UK MP on this important issue.

British in Europe have helped achieve a major breakthrough as the House of Lords backs their amendment to allow UK Nationals currently living in the EU/EEA or Switzerland to return to the UK with their non-UK partners after the end of the Transition Period.

As the British in Europe Statement says:

British in Europe is delighted that members of the House of Lords voted this afternoon in support of amendment 11 to the Immigration Bill. Hundreds of UK citizens living in the European Economic Area and Switzerland wrote to them over recent weeks to explain what it would mean to us and our families if we are unable to return to live in the UK with our non-UK partners after March 2022. Elderly parents will not have carers, siblings will not have support and non-British parents will be separated from their British children. Peers heard our voices, took notice of our concerns, and voted to keep families together, and we are immensely thankful to them for doing so.

We now call on the Government to accept this amendment to the Immigration Bill when it returns to the House of Commons.

You can read the full statement on the British in Europe Website.

 

Berlin Stammtisch on 26th September

The second Berlin meeting since the Lockdown will be taking place

in
Brewdog, Ackerstraße 29, 10115 Berlin, Germany 

on 26th September from 2pm onward

Due to the forecast of rain, this event will now take place indoors at Beerdog and not in Volkspark Friedrichshein. 

We will be taking the names of attendees that will be kept for a month and request all attendees to inform us if they have been exposed to corona or tested positive – this is to keep everyone safe and to to keep track of people in the event that we are asked by the Gesundheitsamt.

You can register your interest for the event on our Facebook page.

Image: Von Inductor – de.wikipedia.org: 15:07, 29. Mai 2007 .. Inductor .. 2288×1712 (1.109.484 Bytes) ({{Information |Beschreibung = Märchenbrunnen im Fiedrichshain, Berlin |Quelle = eigens Foto |Urheber = ~~~~ |Datum = Mai 2007 |Genehmigung = |Andere Versionen = |Anmerkungen = }}), Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2181267

Q&A: What does Brexit mean for my rights as a Brit living in Germany?

The Local in Germany, an english language news website, has interviewed Sir Sebastian Wood, British Ambassador to Germany and Axel Dittmann, head of the Brexit Taskforce for the Germany Federal Government, about the impact of Brexit for UK Nationals living in the country.

The article can be accessed free for a limited amount of time on their website.

Areas covered include:

  • Rights for Brits in Germany
  • Residence permits
  • Healthcare
  • Professional and academic qualifications
  • General

There is also a useful set of links to sources of further information at the end of the piece.

A future article will cover Brit who plan to move to Germany after the end of the Transition Period.

Images (c) Sara Gordon, 2019

Report on the Leipzig Stammtisch 9th July

We had, I feel, a really successful first gathering. 11 people showed up, and perhaps a couple more would have been there, but they had trouble finding us.

We discussed the usual Brexit matters, but after a while we got some really good things on how people are feeling, what concerns them, and we even had some time to offer support to someone who is able to apply for permanent residency. A Migrationberater also attended and was helpful in offering advice and help both at the meeting and afterwards.

Some of the matters discussed were:

  • The various and different registrations required to both live in Germany and to get your Withdrawal Agreement rights before the end of June 2021. How this affects those with dual-nationality. The process for gaining permanent residency for those here after 31 December 2020;
  • Statuses as “Neubriten” vs. “Altbriten”. Do those with dual need to apply for this?
  • Family rights, leaving the country to care for relatives;
  • Scope of British in Germany;
  • Advocacy and raising issues at German/EU/UK level;Referring members to the British Embassy/Consulate for relevant matters;

and

  • Referring members to BME as Immigrationsberater for employment issues, duration of contracts, losing a job and subsequently applying for social security payments.

As an introduction it was good, and we are now voting on when to have our next one, potentially mid-August at the moment. Several people who couldn’t make it to the event this month have shown interest in coming to the next event.

I have some more plans to get the word out to more British people in the Leipzig area, such as speaking to the local English language newspaper, and I will be able to have a clearer view on that once the date for the next Stammtisch is set.

Nick, organiser of the Leipzig event.