As you might know, and everyone else on the planet, my country aka England, in the UK!
Will be leaving the European Union (EU) on March 29th, 2019.
With perhaps a two weeks grace and a new date on October 31st (Halloween) – previously April 12th, (to think of a different Brexit plan) if the withdrawal agreement is rejected by MPs’ in the House of Commons in a few days.
In a few days!
That is, THE FINAL WEEK BEFORE – BREXIT DAY!
Or in the unlikely event that our Prime Minister – Theresa May – does win the support of the Commons when the Brexit deal goes to MPs’ in a few days, then the UK will continue to be an EU member state until May 22nd 2019, to allow necessary withdrawal legislation to be passed.
If you are British, and have the opportunity to apply for European citizenship anywhere in the EU, do so as quickly as possible as the clock is ticking, and even though there might be an extension on March 29th, April 12th, May 22nd, or even October 31st, those dates will be upon us sooner than you or anyone else anticipated, and then it will be too late.
If you’re a British national of Irish descent or anybody born in Northern Ireland, you have the right to acquire Irish citizenship, so if there’s a whiff of Irishness in your ancestral tree, go and get it!
You must register at your local Einwohnermeldeamt (registration office) within 14 days of arrival if you are staying in Germany for more than 3 months.
In some places the Einwohnermeldeamt is known as the Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR), Bürgerbüro or Bürgeramt. When you change address in Germany you must deregister from your old address and register at your new one.
The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights would allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019
If you are a British citizen and also hold the citizenship of any EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you DO NOT need to make an application
If you are a British citizen or live with a British family member, you must register
No additional documents are required at the moment
Online registration and application submission is free of charge
There will be a fee after your application has been processed
Everyone who has registered via the online application form will be contacted and invited for an appointment from April 2019 onwards
Should the UK’s departure from the EU be stopped, all data gathered by the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office on the online form will be deleted immediately
NOTE: After completing your online registration you must save a copy of the confirmation and print it out. This confirmation serves as proof of your registration and your lawful residence in the territory of Germany. Don’t forget!
In the UK, there are no restrictions on dual nationality however, Germany only allows dual nationality in exceptional cases, including for EU citizens. According to the draft national Brexit law, in a deal scenario, UK nationals who have applied for German naturalisation and fulfilled all conditions before the end of the implementation period (31 December 2020), would not have to give up their UK nationality in order to obtain German nationality. Phew!
In addition, as part of it’s no deal preparations, the German cabinet on 12 December 2018, adopted a draft Social Security Transition Brexit law, which would ensure that any UK national who has applied before 29 March 2019 for German citizenship and met all conditions on that day, but whose application has not been processed yet, would still be able to retain his or her UK nationality when accepting German nationality
After the transitional period, it is likely that any UK Citizen who applies for German citizenship will not be able to retain their dual citizenship, and will then have to choose one or the other
Get on it with it then, and quickly!
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, your access to healthcare is likely to change. The NHS has more information about healthcare for UK nationals living in and visiting Germany
The UK government has or is seeking agreements with countries, including Germany, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March 2019
If you plan to visit Germany on or after 29 March 2019, you should continue to buy travel insurance for the health treatment you may need, as you would for any non-EU country
S1 FORM – HEALTHCARE PAID FOR BY THE UK:
You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Germany and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit
You will need an S1 form. You can apply for one by calling +44 (0)191 218 1999
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your S1 form may no longer be recognised after 29 March 2019. The German government has prepared a Brexit social security law, which would come into effect in this case. In addition, seeking private insurance also remains an option
WORKING IN GERMANY:
If you are employed by the German civil service as a Beamte/r, you will need permission to continue your employment after the UK has left the EU. Please see this change to the law governing civil servants and contact your employer
A German criminal record check (Führungszeugnis) can be ordered from the local registry office (Meldebehörde). This will be sent directly from the German Ministry of Justice
EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
In a no-deal Brexit scenario, if you are a student or trainee receiving a support loan in Germany (BAföG) you can still receive the loan until the end of the course, as long as the course started before 30 March 2019. Contact the Federal Ministry for Education and Research for more information.
Where UK nationals have already been recognised by an EU country as holding valid professional qualifications, this will remain valid after the UK leaves the EU. The Commission has advised holders of qualifications obtained in the UK before the UK leaves the EU to obtain recognition in a EU27 Member State before 29 March 2019
Find information on where to request a recognition of your qualifications in Germany
The UK’s exit from the European Union will not change existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Germany. The UK has a double-taxation agreement with Germany to ensure people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.
If you intend to use a bank card, or other financial service from a UK-based firm in the EU after exit, this may be affected
You should get a Lohnsteuerkarte (income tax card) when you register your address with the local Einwohnermeldeamt
Your card will have your Steuernummer (tax number), which your employer needs
In addition to an annual tax return, all residents of Germany, including non-nationals, must file an annual declaration of assets held outside Germany. There are severe penalties if you fail to file or provide incorrect or incomplete information
The German finance ministry has comprehensive information on taxation, including the guide ‘An ABC of taxes’
Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in an EU country should exchange their UK licences for a driving licence from the EU country they are living in before 29 March 2019.
If you are resident in Germany, you will not be able to renew a lost, stolen or expired licence with DVLA. If you return to live in the UK, provided you passed your driving test in the UK or another specified country, you can exchange your EU licence for a UK licence without taking another test
I don’t know about you, but the civil right to vote is so important.
But once the UK leaves the EU, UK nationals will no longer be eligible to vote in local and European elections. The UK pushed hard in negotiations for the right to stand and vote in local elections for UK nationals living in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK, but they will not form part of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The rules of travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.
Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months remaining from your date of travel
If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. These extra months will not count towards this, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel
RETURNING TO THE UK:
If you get utterly fed up and decide to return to live in the UK permanently, and it’s not a crime to do so, it’s important you tell the German authorities.
You must deregister with your local Einwohnermeldeamt (registration office)
You must inform your health insurance (Krankenkasse) of your move
You must inform your bank and other financial services
SOME VERY IMPORTANT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
I’M BRITISH AND I LIVE IN GERMANY. SERIOUSLY, WHAT NOW?
If the Withdrawal Agreement is implemented, a 21-month transitional period will begin once the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. The transitional period will end on 31 December 2020. During this transitional period the UK will in principle, be treated like a member state of the European Union thus, EU rules on freedom of movement will continue to apply during this period.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BRITAIN LEAVES WITHOUT A DEAL?
In the event of Britain leaving the EU without a deal, no British citizen of course, will be required to immediately leave Germany.
Germany is planning to implement a three-month transitional period, which may be extended. During this period all British citizens who are entitled to freedom of movement within the EU and their family members will be able to continue to live and work in Germany as before, without a residence permit.
I HAVE A BRITISH PASSPORT, CAN I STILL TRAVEL THROUGH EUROPE WITHOUT A VISA, AFTER BREXIT?
The European Commission has proposed granting British citizens visa-free travel to the EU for short stays (of up to 90 days in any 180-day period) that is, on the condition that the UK grants visa-free travel for all EU citizens too.
If there is still No-Deal, British tourists face having to apply for a visa at a cost of up to €60 or £52, to visit most of mainland Europe!
I HAVE GERMAN AND BRITISH CITIZENSHIP. DO I HAVE TO GIVE ONE OF THEM UP?
As a German citizen you are naturally permitted to reside in Germany without a residence permit. Even if you are a citizen of another EU member state, you are still entitled to freedom of movement. And that does not mean that you have to give up your British citizenship.
I’D LIKE TO STUDY IN THE UK. WHAT RULES WILL APPLY TO ME?
The UK Council for International Student Affairs’ has information supplied by Wales, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland about the possible consequences the UK leaving the EU will have, as regards to tuition fees and student finance for students from EU member states wishing to study in the UK.
There is no further information as of now.
WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO DO AN ERASMUS SEMESTER IN THE UK AFTER BREXIT?
At this point in time it is still impossible to say whether the UK will stay in the Erasmus+ Programme and what the UK’s future status will be. That will all depend on the outcome of the withdrawal negotiations between the EU and the UK.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ORDERLY AND A DISORDERLY BREXIT?
If a withdrawal agreement is ratified, then a transitional period will enter into force, ending on 31 December 2020. During this transitional period, the UK would continue to comply with EU rules and pay its financial contributions to Brussels. However, the UK would no longer be represented in any of the EU’s bodies.
After the end of the transitional period, new rules would govern the UK’s relationship with the EU.
As of 30 March 2019 (two years after triggering Article 50 to launch the Brexit process), the EU would have to treat the UK as a third country and the EU rulebook (“acquis”) would no longer apply to the UK.
This would have wide-ranging consequences for citizens, businesses and public administration. The UK would no longer be part of the European Single Market and would have to trade under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules instead.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY APPLICATION FOR NATURALISATION?
Applicants who file an application for naturalisation before the date on which the UK leaves the EU but who do not receive a decision until after Brexit, are to retain their previous German or British nationality if they have fulfilled all the other criteria before the Brexit date. Multiple nationality will be accepted in such cases.
WILL AIRLINES IN THE UK STILL BE ABLE TO FLY TO GERMANY? AND WILL GERMAN AIRLINES BE ALLOWED TO FLY TO THE UK?
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will automatically leave the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) on the day it leaves the EU. Discussions are currently being held on what measures can be taken to avoid the resulting disruption to air traffic.
In December 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation which grants British airlines air traffic rights for flights from the UK to the EU and vice versa – up until 30 March 2020. The condition being that the UK grants European airlines the same rights. Consultations on the proposal are still ongoing in the EU.
If you’re still having problems or would prefer a step-by-step live guide, I offer a personal consultancy which can be done in either English or German!
BREXIT! DON’T PANIC IF YOU’RE BRITISH & LIVE IN GERMANY. HERE’S WHAT TO DO!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions are utterly my very, very own!
Brexit is going to be messy, but there’s hope!
Catch me if you can!
Watch this space!
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I'm a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with my German husband and my half British – half German son.
My blog is a lifestyle expat travel blog and puts a focus on my promotion of culture, history, travels around the world, Europe, Brexit, the Royal Family, British-German life and being British in Berlin - I am The British Berliner!