• Michali Henig

Brexit Agreement: Immigration regulations for UK-Citizens living in Germany

2020, you will be forever remembered. With everything that happened and with our lives changing constantly, some of us kind of forgot that Brexit also happened this year.

Not only that, but the transition period is also about to end, as it was defined until the end of 2020 (so, until 31.12.2020).

The question of what will happen to UK-Citizens living in Germany starting the beginning of 2021 remained open until recently: the regulations for Berlin were only announced last week, on 13.11.2020.

In this Blog post, I will summarize the main points you should know about this topic.

What will happen to UK citizens who already live in Germany?

UK citizens who already live in Germany (including those who moved to Germany a bit before the end of 2020) will be allowed to stay, live and work in Germany as long as they may enjoy the freedom of settlement.

The Freedom of Settlement (in German: Freizügigkeitsrecht) is one of the principles on which the EU is founded, which allows citizens of one EU-country to settle, live and work in another EU- country.

In order to enjoy this right, certain criteria needs to be filled. This is a bit of a tricky topic, but briefly speaking, you may enjoy the freedom of settlement, if you:

  1. Work in Germany (either as a freelancer or as an employee)

  2. Search for a job for up to 6 months

  3. Have enough income (e.g. from pension insurances if you are retired)

  4. Study

It seems that in the process of reviewing the right of residency for UK-citizens, those rules will be applied.

If those conditions will be filled, UK citizens will get one of two residence permits: Aufenthaltsdokument-GB and Aufenthaltsdokument für Grenzgänger-GB. With those residence permits, UK citizens will be allowed to continue living in Germany and to have unlimited access to the labor market, meaning: to take whichever job they want. Those documents will only be valid for Germany. If you wish to move to another EU-country, please inform yourself about their regulations.

The residence permit will have the form of an electronic residence permit (eAT). The card will be ordered at the immigration office and will be sent to the applicants´ home address via post. If you wish to know more about the cards, feel free to check out my video.

I live in Berlin. What should I practically do?

If you live in Berlin, first of all, make sure to have your Anmeldung (address registration). If you dont have it yet - it is recommended that you get it. If you don´t know how to do so - check out our guide.

Then, make sure to have registered at the immigration office as a UK-Citizen living in Germany.

This registration is done online, on the website of the immigration office and is called Aufenthaltsanzeige in German. Its super straightforward and you can get it done in English. Here is the link.

The deadline is 31.06.2021.

IMPORTANT: This registration is different than the address registration, so you need to FIRST get your Anmeldung and THEN get your immigration registration as a UK citizen.

Now, this registration system for UK-Citizens was set for a while now (since the beginning of 2019, to be exact). Some people who registered were also already invited to the immigration office already and got a permanent residency already. If you have already registered in the past - you do not need to register again. Same goes for if you have already went to the immigration office and got your permanent residency.

What happens after my registration?

The immigration office will invite you to an appointment, which will take place during 2021. You will be contacted via email, and will be told which documents you need to bring with you.

Here are a couple of tips for you:

  1. Changing appointments at the immigration office can be tricky. Therefore, please do everything you can in order to attend the appointment. Change it in emergencies only.

  2. Check your spam box, since some official emails sometimes land there.

  3. It might take a while until you have received an appointment. While you wait, you can continue to live and work in Germany.

  4. We have gotten used to getting summaries of forms we filled out via email. The registration system of the immigration office does not send summaries. Therefore, take a screenshot of your registration confirmation, or print it to PDF.

  5. When you get your appointment invitation, make sure to be as prepared as possible and have all needed documents with you at your appointment. It will save you a lot of time and hassle.

I am living in another state in Germany. Should I also register?

No. The registration is only for residene of Berlin. If you live in another state, please inform yourself about the practical procedure.

I am planning of moving to Germany in 2021. Can I still apply for the UK-residence permits?

Unfortunately, no.

If you move to Germany after 31.12.2020, you will be considered to be a citizen of a third country. You may then enter Schengen zone without a C-Visa and stay there for 90 days within a period of 180. You will then have to get a residence permit according to German law.

Good luck!

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