Category Archives: British in Germany Event

British Embassy hold their first Facebook Live Event

Report by Elise Shepley (BIG Intern)

The British Embassy in Berlin led an hour-long Facebook live Q&A on August 6th 2019, in an attempt to directly address the questions and concerns of British citizens living in Germany in the run up to Brexit.

Over 200 questions were answered, and the Embassy has subsequently produced a summary of the event, which documents all of the questions and answers posed during the Q&A session. All questions posed within the hour-long time frame received a response from the Embassy over the following 24 hours.

The Embassy’s document has been organised into eight categories determined by the questions posed:

  • Residency (103 questions)
  • Work, qualifications, pensions, and benefits (36 questions)
  • Travel (15 questions)
  • Healthcare (24 questions)
  • Passport and nationality (18 questions)
  • Miscellaneous (16 questions)
  • Returning to the UK (5 questions)
  • Education (1 question)

Residency was therefore by far the most recurrent theme, with particular concerns about registration for residency permits being raised. The Embassy reiterates that anyone previously exercising free movement rights in Germany may be granted a residency permit, with permanent permits only being granted automatically to those who have been in Germany five years or longer.  The Embassy also confirms that the residency permit is not tied to any German language requirements, nor to employment status.

Other recurring themes included questions about the future status of health insurance policies for UK citizens in Germany (S1), queries about dual citizenship and the position of family members of different nationalities, and about potential issues in travelling into Germany and returning to the UK.

The FB live event created on the whole very positive feedback from BiG members and the Embassy committed a significant amount of manpower and resources to the event.    We hope this will set the precedent for further FB live events in Germany and across Europe as British citizens living in the EU face increasing uncertainty and anxiety about their lives and livelihoods living in Europe.

You can also access the full Embassy document with all of the questions and responses.

Open Evening and Stammtisch in Hannover, Friday 17 May

British in Hannover have two upcoming events this Friday, 17 May.

Open Evening for UK nationals, 4 pm – 7 pm, NordLB Building (Friedrichswall 10, 30159 Hannover) 

In collaboration with the Honorary Consul in Hanover Thomas Bürkle and British in Germany e.V., the British Embassy Berlin will host an Open Evening for UK nationals on Friday 17th May 2019. This will be an opportunity to find out how the UK leaving the EU might affect your rights to live and work in Germany.

More info and registration (required) at the Eventbrite page. Please bring proof of registration and photo ID with you on the night.

Straight afterwards is the British in Hannover Stammtisch, at the Ständige Vertretung (in the same building, Friedrichswall 10, Hannover), from 7 pm until closing time. Come along for a pint and an informal chat! You can check out the Facebook event here.

Image of Hannover by fmcato at Creative Commons

British in Bremen Stammtisch, 28 May

British in Bremen are meeting at 7:30 pm on Tuesday 28 May, at Loft Bremen, Bahnhofsplatz 5 – 7, 28195 Bremen – join us for a beer and a friendly chat!

Our Stammtisch is a friendly place to meet other fellow Brits living in and around Bremen. Of course with Brexit all up in the air, this topic will probably come up, but it is not the sole purpose of the Stammtisch! Come to catch up and get to know new people.

For the politically minded amongst you, the next Stammtisch will be just in time to discuss the results of the EU elections!

You can check out the Facebook event here.

Image: Bremen 2011 by Softwahn at CreativeCommons

InfoEvents in Berlin, 30 April

In cooperation with German partners and British in Germany e.V., the British Embassy Berlin will host an Open Afternoon and Evening on Tuesday 30th April 2019. This will be an opportunity for you to find out how the UK leaving the EU might affect your rights to live and work in Germany.

Economic Counsellor Rachel King will give an update on issues relating to citizens’ rights and what this means for you after the UK leaves the EU. She will be joined by the Head of the Berlin Foreigners Authority (Ausländerbehörde) Engelhard Mazanke, who will explain the registration process in Berlin.

Following the introductions there will be an Info Fair, where you will be able to speak to representatives from key German authorities on pensions, health insurance, residency, naturalisation, studying and Erasmus, and working in Germany (participating organisations to be confirmed).

Location: British Embassy Berlin,
Wilhelmstrasse 70, D-10117 Berlin, Germany

Afternoon Event:

14:30 Doors open

15:00 Welcome addresses

15:30 Info Fair

17:00 Event closes

Spaces are limited – please register on Eventbrite.

Evening Event:

18:00 Doors open

18:30 Welcome addresses

19:00 Info Fair

20:30 Event closes

Spaces are limited – please register on Eventbrite:.

If you reserve a ticket but find yourself unable to attend, please let us know so that we can allocate the ticket to someone else.

Please not that only registered guests can be permitted entry to the Embassy and photo ID is required.

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

InfoAbend in Bad Kreuznach, 15 April

The British Embassy and Antje Lezius, Member of the German Bundestag, in collaboration with British in Germany, will host a German-British Information Evening on citizens rights in Bad Kreuznach on Monday, 15th April at 6:30pm.

Time: Monday, 15 April at 18:30 – 20:30 (doors open 18:00)
Place: Brauwerk, Saline Karlshalle 11, 55543 Bad Kreuznach
Registration: Eventbrite

HM Consul General Rafe Courage will give an update on the impact of the UK leaving the EU on citizens’ rights of UK nationals living in Germany and what this means for you. Antje Lezius will present the German government’s plans, as will the Foreigners’ Authority Bad Kreuznach. They will be joined by Amanda Diel from British in Germany e.V. Following the speeches, there will be plenty of time to ask any questions you have.

The event is primarily aimed at UK nationals living in and around Bad Kreuznach. Family members and friends are, of course, also welcome to attend, as are German citizens with questions regarding travel to or study in the UK following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Doors open at 6.00 pm. The event will run from 6.30pm to 8.30 pm.

This event will take place in English and German.

Should you be attending by car, there are parking spaces available at Brauwerk Bad Kreuznach (charges apply).

We look forward to welcoming you then.

For information on this event in German please see:

http://bit.ly/German-British-Information-Evening
or
https://www.facebook.com/events/2013393622289961/

Report on the “Not the Brexit day” Stammtisch in Munich 29 March

Despite the cheery faces on the photo collage of this event (click the image for the full collage), the general mood in Munich was sombre and reflective. It has been a long haul since Article 50 was invoked and many of us are incredulous at the lack of progress since then. Special scorn was reserved for those politicians seen as responsible for STILL not providing clarity on vital aspects affecting the lives of UK citizens in Europe, such as healthcare and pensions.

Listen in to what Brits (and Germans!) in Munich were saying on the day the UK did not leave the EU (that at least gave some cause for optimism….):

Fiona: I breathed a sigh of relief today. We need to press the pause button and give everybody a chance to get a deal with consensus, one in which citizens rights are protected.

Ingrid: There are people here tonight who don´t know if they will have health insurance next week! Or if their pension contributions will be counted in both countries. Or if they can continue to work for customers in countries across the German border! That´s how bad things are for us here.”

Mike: So much money has been spent on all this, by governments and businesses – if the UK doesn’t in the end leave all that will have been totally wasted.

Ulrike: Die UK war nie wirklich 100% dabei. Aber die Politiker haben jetzt total versagt. Ich bin traurig für die nächste Generation.

Trevor: Hope that if there is a second referendum that young people will turn out. Clicking on ‘Like’ is just not the same as voting.

Dave: B******* to Brexit. We´re ok over here – we´ll still be able to buy food and medicines!

Bob (disenfranchised): Hoping that British pragmatism will lead to a second referendum.

David (not DH): “Now that the deal has been voted down, it leaves options open for a soft Brexit.

Athol: At one time I was proud to be British, now I keep quiet about it.

Ian #1: If we have to leave, it has to be in an orderly manner, but of course my preference is to stay.”

Ian #2: It´s all a muddle – they need to have a rethink. And an extension to work it all out.

Linda: Thank goodness we are British and have a sense of humour.

The waiter (an economics student): Ich denke, es ist nicht so verheerend für Europa. Langfristig wird man zusammenhalten.

Julia: A catastrophe! Everyone is laughing at us.

Gisela: Es sollte eine Verlängerung geben, und die UK sollte an den EU Wahlen teilnehmen.

Ryosuke: If there is a second referendum, people should be guided by the economic outlook, and the effects already being seen in terms of people´s jobs. The UK was such a strong state, I don´t understand why all this is happening.”

Tim: The best we can hope for is for a customs union, but one that allows for freedom of movement.

Jochen: Why change a running game? It has worked well so far, I don´t understand what is going on.”

Leoni: I´m amazed that so many MPs actually voted for no deal! They are completely disregarding the catastrophic effect this will have on the lives of poor and vulnerable people.”

Anon.:

Politicians have no sense of responsibility.

Everything is so screwed, that it looks like the UK will crash out on 12 April. But I don´t wish it.

The last four years has been a farce.

The older leave voters have enjoyed the benefits of the UK´s membership of the EU, and now they don´t want to pass that on to the next generation!

UK´s influence in the EU is now much diminished, whatever happens.

No common sense in Parliament.

They should just b***** off.

Image (c) Sue McInerney

Will you stay or will you go? The not postponed Brexit party

Jon Worth and Philip Oltermann are organising a distraction from what would have been the original Brexit day, but nevertheless a necessary antidote to the stresses and strains of Brexit itself. As they say:

The idea – to give everyone a good night to distract them from politics – is the same as before. But this time we’re reversing the music – we’ll play something from each of the other 27 Member States of the European Union, released since those countries joined the EU.

Time: 19:30-21:00 – Brexit discussion (speakers tbc)
21:00 until very late – Music and dancing

Place: Freudenzimmer
Mehringdamm 61, 10961 Berlin

Price:  €4 online, €5 on the door
all profits go to British in Germany, e.V.

Details: jonworth.eu/fuxit2/

Report on Stammtisch (Brexit Stress Test) in Munich, 11th March

British in Bavaria Stammtisch

Brexit stress test – Are you ready for no deal?

Click to get to Top Tips and Links.

The spectre of no deal – and the threat that this poses to UK nationals in Europe – certainly concentrated minds in Munich on Monday in a city-centre Gaststätte. While a good many of the 66 attendees were already well informed about these risks, others were only just beginning to grasp the implications for them.

The British in Bavaria team wanted to tell it how it is – based also on the many different contacts with the authorities in Munich and Berlin – so that everyone could re-assess their own situation and take any action that might still be possible.

David Hole kicked off with an explanation of what no deal means for Brits in Germany, in particular the “demotion” from EU citizen to the status of a third-country national in the eyes of German immigration law. During a three-month period after March 29 (which could be extended), Brits would continue to have the right to reside and work in Germany, but during that time they would be required to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel – sometimes translated as Residence Title). This is the new reality in a no-deal situation. David pointed out that despite emergency legislation drawn up to regulate some areas of life for Brits in Germany post no-deal-Brexit, critical aspects remain unresolved, each of them with severe implications for those affected, e.g. the EHIC and S1 scheme of healthcare provision (see below), and freedom of onward movement (i.e. no automatic right to work in any other EU27 country; Brits are 28th in the line for jobs, after applicants from other EU countries).

David re-iterated the strong recommendation that Brits who are eligible for German citizenship should urgently consider this option. EU citizenship would protect their rights. There is now a short window of opportunity (up until 29 March, if there is no deal) for Brits to apply for German citizenship, while having the right to retain their British citizenship. Applications need to be submitted at your local Einbürgerungsamt as soon as possible.

Ingrid Taylor followed with a summary of what the Munich City Foreigners´ Office (Ausländerbehörde at the Kreisverwaltungsrat / KVR) plans for registration of Brits in the city in a no-deal scenario. Basically: The KVR will send a letter to each affected resident Brit in the city (not dual citizens) by the end of March, inviting them to make an appointment with the Ausländerbehörde at the KVR to come and talk about their future residence status (see links below). Candidates need to bring with them the completed application form, and at that appointment they would be given a “Fiktionsbescheinigung” or “fictional certificate”. This is a certificate confirming the applicant´s right to live and work in Germany as before until such time as their application for a residence permit is approved. Brits who want to stay must submit an application for residence (and there are at least 6 different kinds of residence permit! – see below) during those three months. That is the current situation.

Potential problems identified are:

– What if you have to wait a long time for your appointment (over 6,000 Brits live in the city) – and therefore for your Fiktionsbescheinigung?

– What about travel, planned or impromptu, during that three-month period? Answers: see below.

Alison Jones summarised the British in Germany tips for a no deal Brexit. These are published on the BiG website – an update will be made available with latest information in the coming days. Alison then talked briefly about the significance of the vote for the Costa amendment on ring-fencing of citizens’ rights in the case of no deal and the next actions that British in Europe is taking together with the3million to encourage the Council of Ministers and the EU27 states to support ring-fencing. (See links below)

British in Bavaria
Ingrid Taylor, David Hole, Alison Jones
13 March, 2019

++++++++++++++++

 

British in Bavaria – Top tips + links for a no deal scenario

1. Register as a resident.

If you live in Germany and are not registered as resident, then make sure you do so before March 29th. Contact your local Einwohnermeldeamt.

2. Obtaining a residence permit

After Brexit (deal or no deal) you will need to have a residence permit (this is separate to the requirement to register your residence mentioned in point 1). The authority responsible for handling your application for a residence permit is your local Ausländerbehörde (foreigners´ office). Find out which office is responsible for you and keep track of the Brexit information on that site.

Links for the City of Munich and elsewhere in Germany.

3. Right of residence

As third-country nationals after a no-deal Brexit, UK nationals resident in Germany will need a residence permit. This must be applied for within the three months after a no deal exit (see also points 2 above and 4 below). During those three months all registered resident Brits will be able to continue living and working in Germany as before. Check out the FAQs on right of residence on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Home Office).

4. Residence permits

There are (at least) six different types of residence permit, each with different conditions and consequences. Read up on what they all are – and which you might be eligible for – on the website of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

5. Fiktionsbescheinigung

For the first three months after a no deal Brexit, UK nationals registered as resident anywhere in Germany have a right to continue living and working here legally for – initially – three months, during which time they must apply for a residence title. This period may be extended.

Some authorities (e.g. Munich) are planning to issue a “Fiktionsbescheinigung”, or “fictitious” certificate confirming your right to live and work in Germany while your application for a residence title is being processed. In Munich the Fiktionsbescheinigung will be handed to you at your appointment. Other authorities have other procedures. But whether or not your local office issues such a certificate, your right to live and work here for the first three months continues.

6. Travelling after a no-deal Brexit

Take proof of your residence and work status in Germany with you when you travel, in case you need to show them to a border official.

These proofs could be: your “Fiktionsbescheinigung”, if you have one; copy of work contract plus current company ID; letter from HR dept. confirming current employment; copies of bills etc.

One interesting idea is to get an “erweiterte Meldebescheinigung” (extended certificate of residence) from your local Einwohnermeldeamt. This simple but official document confirms your key details on the date of issue (current and past registered address(es); passport number, DOB, etc.). It costs €5. It is a standard German document used also for other purposes. It is not a residence permit. You can obtain one from your Einwohnermeldeamt.

Always check the latest immigration regulations of any country you will be travelling to or through. That includes all EU27 countries. Be prepared to prove to officials when asked that you live and work in Germany.

If you are a dual citizen, it could be advisable to take both passports with you when travelling.

7. S1 + EHIC healthcare

As things stand at present, after a no-deal Brexit, UK nationals in Germany will no longer be entitled to the benefits of this reciprocal payment system for their medical treatment and medicines. Official information being given to hospitals and doctors in Germany is that these patients will be expected to pay directly for their care from 30 March.

If you are affected by this you should talk asap to the healthcare provider (Krankenkasse) with which you are currently registered. The option of joining the state health insurance scheme (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) is the subject of draft emergency legislation. Private insurance is of course always an option, though likely to be expensive. You must have alternative healthcare arrangements in place by latest three months after a no deal Brexit. Failure to do so would have serious consequences.

Note: Most working people are not affected by this – if you are in a company healthcare scheme, or have private or state health insurance already, then the above does not apply to you.

8. No-deal checklist

Essential reading – updated regularly –

the British in Germany no-deal checklist.

9. The Costa Amendment on ring-fencing citizens´ rights

See the British in Germany report,

the next steps in British in Europe´s campaign for ring-fencing,

and an example of campaigning by individuals to ask EU leaders to support ring-fencing.

Disclaimer: All this information is given in good faith, but we cannot guarantee that it is complete or accurate. It is correct to the best of our knowledge at this time and given the current situation. All information is subject to change at short notice depending on further developments in London, Brussels and Berlin. It is important for everyone to stay abreast of those developments, in particular via the relevant government information sources.

Image: (c) Clive Ashbolt – British in Bavaria

Infoabend in Berlin, 4 March

Update: Tickets for this event were all taken within a very short time and probably only shortly after we managed to advertise the event here. As the event is not arranged by BiG we are unable to obtain any more tickets and therefore suggest you add yourself to the waiting list. The Embassy will no doubt take notice of the massive demand.

 

The British Embassy Berlin and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe invites British nationals living in Germany to an opening evening and information fair on issues relating to citizens’ rights in the context of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

18:00-19:30 – Citizens’ Rights Info Fair

With info tables hosted by relevant authorities on pensions, health insurance, recognition of professional qualifications, driving licenses, residency and naturalisation, studying and Erasmus, and working in Germany after EU Exit.

19:30-21:00 – Q&A Panel with 
– Gerry Woop, State Secretary for Europe, Berlin Senate
– Robbie Bulloch, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Berlin
– Jane Golding, Chair British in Europe
– Engelhard Mazanke, Berlin Foreigners Registration Office Berlin
– Prisca Merz, Regional Consular Policy Advisor, British Embassy Berlin

and moderated by 
– Prof. Gerhard Dannemann, HU Centre for British Studies

Spaces are limited – please register on Eventbrite.

Please give the name of all participants when reserving tickets, as ID will be requested on the door.

We look forward to seeing you!

If you have reserved a ticket but find yourself unable to attend, please let us know so that we can give the ticket to someone else.

For other events please see our Events Calendar.

Image by Zairon – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12161365

InfoAbend in Cologne, 13 February

Safeguarding the rights of British nationals living and working in the EU remains a top priority for both the UK and the EU, and the British community in Germany are an important part of the future UK-Germany relationship. We are continuing our series of information evenings across Germany to ensure British citizens have the opportunity to share any concerns, and ask our speakers any questions they have about citizens’ rights post-Brexit.

Time: 13 February, 18:00 – 20:00

Place: St. George’s – The British International School Cologne, Husarenstraße 20, 50997 Köln

The event is primarily aimed at British citizens living in and around Cologne. Family members and friends are of course also welcome to attend.

Limited spaces available. Doors open at 17:30. Please give your name when reserving your ticket as ID will be requested on the door.

Please click on this link to register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/open-evening-for-british-nationals-in-cologne-tickets-55751497229

We look forward to seeing you!

Also see our Events Calendar.

ger1axg [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons