Category Archives: British in Germany

Visa requirements for arrivals post-Brexit (so 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?

Visa Navigator – Visa Categories

Do I need a visa?
This article tells you whether you need a visa for Germany.

Visa information – Visa Services at the German Missions in the UK

German missions in the United Kingdom

FAQ and other important information

UK performing artists

Vander Elst Visa
Germany has a specific Visa for this, which you apply for in your host EU country.—grenzueberschreitende-dienstleistungserbringung—data.pdf


BiG Membership finally face to face

After the social drought of Covid, British in Germany members finally met face to face on 19th November to discuss the future direction of the organisation post Brexit.   Members from Munich, Leipzig, Braunschweig, Berlin, Hamburg and the UK came together for the day and the consensus was we should do it again soon. 

Members acknowledged that in the 5 years of the organisation’s existence, BiG has shaped and influenced the history of British lives in Germany and that that was something we should publicly acknowledge and celebrate.   

Going forward, key issues such as Dual Citizenship, Life Long UK Voting Rights and Youth Exchange were discussed and proposals made for working groups to be created on such different themes.

Thank you to all members for their contributions, including fantastic florescent blue cake (above) made by Rachel.

If you’d like to learn more about the organisation or become a member, don’t hesitate to sign up here:

Join or donate to British in Germany e.V.

or be in touch at 


Solidarity with refugees arriving into Germany

British in Germany e.V. stands in solidarity with all refugees arriving into Germany.

If you have the space, means or funds to help support the thousands of refugees arriving presently from Ukraine, you can contact any of these organisations below for more direction and information.

Please write to us at info(at) if you’d like us to add other refugee support organisations in Germany.


German Red Cross

Flüchtlingshilfe Deutschland

Bavaria based:


Solidarität mit der Ukraine München

Bayerische Flüchtlingsrat

Berlin based:

Berlin Hilft

Wir Helfen Berlin

Ukraine Hilfe Berlin e.V. 

Spendenbrücke Ukraine

Berlin Chancellory Information

General information for Ukrainians arriving into Germany

Information from BAMF

Berlin Stammtisch – 18th September

Meet at Kookaburra for drinks and a chat starting at 6pm, then go inside to enjoy great English comedy!

When: 18th September – 18:00

Where: Kookaburra
Schönhauser Allee 184, 10119 Berlin
Comedy Club on Google maps

The cost of the show is 15€ (with 2€ BiG discount). Vegetarian/Vegan pizza and a shot are included in the price. Tables are reserved so we can enjoy the show together.  3G entry!

For more info on the venue and show: Comedy Club 18th September

Looking forward to seeing you there!

“Trust” period for employing UK citizens extended

Germany has extended the “trust” period for employing UK citizens post-Brexit to the end of 2021.

The Bundesministerium des Inneren published new instructions to employers about employing UK citizens with Withdrawal Agreement rights. The new memo now states:

“Bis zum Ende des Jahres 2021 können Sie der Aussage britischer Staatsangehöriger und ihrer Familienangehörigen vertrauen, ein Aufenthaltsrecht nach dem Austrittsabkommen zu haben.”

“Until the end of 2021, you can trust a statement by UK nationals and their family members to have a right of residence under the Withdrawal Agreement.”  

The earlier version of this sentence began “Until 30th June 2021”. So with this update the Ministry has pushed the date from which employers may ask for evidence of status to the beginning of January 2022.

The extended “trust” period reflects the reality that many residence documents have not yet been issued, and will come as a relief to all those whose employers have already asked for proof of Withdrawal Agreement rights. The memo now includes the information “Die Bearbeitung bei den Behörden kann voraussichtlich bis Ende des Jahres 2021 dauern.”

Other changes include a new link on short-term visitors from the UK carrying out “professional activities not classed as work”.

The latest version of this information for employers is published in German here brexit-informationen-arbeitgeber

Version in English Arbeitgeber-Flyer Brexit V2.0_EN-b 

For more information generally about working in Germany after Brexit, see this post on our site Am I still allowed to work in Germany? 

Not yet notified your residence and rights? Don’t delay! For more information: Residency – latest

Note: if you are moving to Germany now, then you will not be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and will need to request permission to work as a third country national. For German government information, see

Information on Withdrawal Agreement rights

Summaries and detailed guides from British in Europe

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 apply for membership here.


Residency notification and 30th June

30th June is the date by which German authorities have instructed UK citizens to notify their Ausländerbehörde of their residence and rights under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement .

If you haven’t done so already, don’t delay. Contact your local Ausländerbehörde now!

You can also help by spreading the word: please check with friends and colleagues. Most information has been online and there has been almost no attention in the German press. So some of the best-integrated Brits in Germany may not be aware that they need to do anything. Their German friends and relatives may have no idea that UK citizens need to act. People who are ill, disabled, or isolated may struggle, and anyone whose life is mainly offline may not have seen any information at all.

Fortunately, with the system that Germany has chosen, rights are not lost if notification is not made by the June 30th date. But, as time goes on, life will be much easier for UK citizens with the Aufenthaltsdokument to prove their rights.

Confirmation that you have notified your Ausländerbehörde will help as a first step. Once you have it, the residence document (Aufenthaltsdokument GB) is a simple way to show official evidence of your status at airports, to employers or to anyone else.

Some Ausländerbehörde have been very slow to respond. Some have not been open for appointments in the last few months, particularly when Covid numbers have been high. But most are now open and making progress. So don’t delay – get the process started.

For details on how to get the document and links to lots of resources to help you, see Residency – latest
For a template letter that can be used for notification, see Notification to Ausländerbehörde

Support with residency

Do you know someone who is struggling with the residency process in Germany? Two organisations can support UK citizens in Germany in getting their residency documents.

If you are in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein or Thuringia IOM UKNSF Project 

If you are a UK Services Veteran or you are in Bremen, Hamburg, Niedersachsen or Nordrhein-Westfalen SSAFA UKNSF Project

What else needs to be done by 30th June?

If someone was resident in Germany before 31 December 2020 and is still driving on a UK licence, there is no time to lose!  Driving in Germany after Brexit for information about switching to a German licence.

If you know UK citizens in France, Luxembourg, Latvia or Malta who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, they need to make an application by 30th June. Otherwise they may actually lose their rights! It seems many have not applied yet. British in Europe the-clock-is-ticking

The same for EU citizens in the UK: they also have until 30th June to claim their rights. Although there has been a lot of publicity in the UK, there may be many reasons why people have missed it or got stuck. If you know anyone who may be in this situation, just check in. Organisations that can help:  help-eu-settlement-scheme

More about residency and 30th June

The Local and the UK Embassy have jointly published an article aimed at UK citizens in Germany what-happens-if-brits-in-germany-dont-apply-for-post-brexit-residence-card-by-deadline

British in Germany

If you would like to exchange experiences with others going through the residency process in Germany, connect with the British in Germany e.V. Facebook group. Just answer our questions, and join the conversation!

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 after Brexit

Are you still driving on a UK driving licence? 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.

If you were resident before 1 January 2021, then you should exchange your licence by 30th June 2021. Otherwise you may need to take a German driving test in order to continue to drive here and, as things stand at present, it may no longer be legal for you to drive on your UK licence after 30th June.

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

If you have arrived in Germany during 2021 and intend to live here, then you should exchange your UK licence for a German one within 6 months of becoming resident. Otherwise you may need to take a German driving test in order to continue to drive here.

Information about Brexit and driving in Germany from the German Bundesministerium für Verkehr is here:
BMVI Brexit FAQ English
BMVI Brexit FAQ German

What do you need to do to exchange your licence?
  • To apply, contact the “Fahrerlaubnisbehörde” (driver licencing authority) in your local Stadt or Kreis.
  • You will be charged a fee.
  • You may need to provide a notarised translation of your UK licence.

NOTE: some local Fahrerlaubnisbehörde are currently unwilling to exchange UK driving licences and are asking UK licence holders to apply after 30th June. In some of these cases, writing to the local mayor has helped. If you are told that it is not possible for you to exchange your licence, then we suggest that you request a written confirmation from the Fahrerlaubnisbehörde that you will be able to do make the exchange after 30th June. You may also want to let the UK Consulate know.

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

New test requirement or new agreement?

Nationals of some third countries are required to take a German driving test (theory and/or practical) before they can exchange their national driving licences for a German one. Germany and the UK expect to make a new agreement  on recognition of driving licences so that it will still be possible to exchange your UK licence for a German one. However, this has not yet been signed.  So we can’t yet be sure exactly what will happen after 30th June.

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

Since the UK is now outside the EU, you may find the fact sheet for holders of foreign driving licences from states outside the European Union and the European Economic Area on driving licence provisions in the Federal Republic of Germany useful: Driving-licence-provisions-fact-sheet

Note that if Germany and the UK sign an agreement on recognition of driving licences, then the information in this last fact sheet may not apply. However, that agreement has not yet been reached.

Have you notified your local Foreigners’ Office of your residency and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement? Check here for what you may need to do: Residency – latest

Want to stay up-to-date on Brexit information relevant to you? Sign up for our Updates and get email when new information is posted to the website.

Notification to Ausländerbehörde

UK citizens in Germany with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement have been asked to notify their local Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners’ Office) by 30th June, 2021.

More information

For more details on the residency process Residency – latest


Your local Ausländerbehörde may have provided a form for you to use to notify them of your residence and claim to rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If not, you can use the template below. Simply copy the text and include your own details. Post as a letter to the Ausländerbehörde using registered mail (Einschreiben) if possible. That way you have proof that you sent it and that it was received. The Ausländerbehörde should confirm receipt of your notification.

If you have children under the age of 18 who have UK citizenship and whom you expect also to have rights under the WA, you should include them in your notification.

If at all possible, do this before the 30th June date . You do NOT lose your rights if you have not made a notification by this date. But after 30th June, it is more likely that you will be asked to provide evidence of your rights. If you do not yet have an Aufenthaltsdokument-GB, showing that you have at least contacted Ausländerbehörde will help.

Anzeige des Aufenthalts

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
hiermit zeige ich Ihnen gem §16 II 2 Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU meinen Aufenthalt in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland an.

Ich bin britische(r) Staatsangehörige(r), Inhaber/in eines britischen Reisepasses Nr. …………………., ausgestellt am…….. in ………. und wohnhaft in Deutschland seit……………….

Zur Person:
Geburtsdatum und -ort.

Optional text to include minor children 
Ich zeige Ihnen auch hiermit gem §16 II 2 Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU den Aufenthalt meines minderjährigen Kindes/meiner <1/2/3> minderjährigen Kinder an.

Zur Person(en):
Geburtsdatum und -ort.
Britische(r) Staatsangehörige(r), britischen Reisepasses Nr. …………………., ausgestellt am…….. in ………. und wohnhaft in Deutschland seit……………….
Repeat personal information to cover each child 

Ich bitte Sie, mir den Erhalt dieser Anzeige zu bestätigen und mir die nächsten Schritte für die Ausstellung eines Aufenthaltsdokuments-GB mitzuteilen. Ferner beantrage ich, für mich (und das minderjährige Kind / die minderjährigen Kinder) eine Fiktionsbescheinigung für die Zeit bis zur Bearbeitung meiner Angelegenheit.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Following is a translation into English although we suggest that you use the German version above to make your notification.

Notification of Residence

Dear Madam, dear Sir,
I hereby notify you, in accordance with §16 II 2 Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU, of my residence in the Federal Republic of Germany.

I am a British citizen, holder of passport number …………………, issued on……………in………………. and have resided in Germany since…………………..

Personal details:
Date and place of birth

Optional text to include minor children
I also hereby notify you, in accordance with §16 II 2 Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU, of the residence in the Federal Republic of Germany of my minor child / (1/2/3) minor children.

Date and place of birth

British citizen, holder of passport number …………………, issued on……………in………………. and residing in Germany since…………………..
Repeat personal information to cover each child

Please confirm receipt of this notification and inform me of the next steps for the issue to me of a Residence document-GB. I also request the issue to me (and my child / my children) of a Fiktionsbescheinigung for the period up to the completion of this matter.

Yours faithfully,




British in Europe would like to hear from you!

British in Germany e.V. is a member of the  British in Europe coalition group that have put together a survey for Brits living across the continent to get a sense of our situation and what we are looking for from an organisation like BiE.    

Over the last 5 years, British in Europe has campaigned tirelessly at the EU and UK levels to protect our rights.

Now that Brexit has happened (however much we and they regret it), what next?  Have your say by completing the survey!

Click here to be taken to the survey link on their website  – It will take around 15 minutes to complete. 

Whether you have dual citizenship or are applying for a residency card, your views will be equally valid and welcome!

Thank you.