Expat Diaries

Brexit + UK Expats in Germany

March 30, 2020

A guide to UK Expats living in Germany post-Brexit:

The most common questions I am asked when I meet new people are “Did you move because of Brexit?” and “What will happen to you after Brexit?”

The answers are: we didn’t deliberately move because of Brexit, but it definitely had a huge impact on our decision. Answers to the second question below!

For a while, I did no research into this topic, mostly because I was sad that it was one we had to think about at all. Then I realised that, if I wanted to stay here, I needed to understand exactly where we stood.

If you want a short summary, it turns out that not that much is actually changing for us right now or in the foreseeable future. However, here’s how a breakdown looks.

Residency

  • It’s already the law that if you plan on spending more than 3 months in Germany, you must register as a resident within 14 days of arriving.
  • You can still easily become a resident during the transition period (until 31st December 2020).
  • If you’re already a resident, you will be allowed to stay after the end of the transition period.
  • There is nothing explaining what will happen after the end of the transition period, but the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community are currently setting out regulations for this.
  • It is likely that we will require a legal residency certificate or permit.
  • Generally speaking, it looks like we will be in a similar legal situation to what we are in now.

Naturalization

i.e. become a German citizen

  • Currently, UK Citizens can hold dual nationality with EU countries and will be able to continue applying for dual nationality status until the end of the transition period.
  • The entry requirements to claiming German citizenship firstly state that you must have lived legally in Germany for at least 8 years. This means that sadly I will never be able to claim dual nationality.
  • If I decide to stay in Germany for over 8 years and claim German citizenship, I will have to renounce my UK Citizenship completely. Not gonna happen.

Passports + Travel

  • Super straight forward – I can still travel freely until the end of the transition period.
  • I will be able to continue to renew my British passport form Germany.
  • Not sure what restrictions we may face with travel to/from the UK after the transition period, but visas may potentially be a requirement.

Healthcare

  • Luckily, nothing will change here. EHIC cards are not valid if you are a resident of Germany anyway and it is a legal requirement to have health insurance.

Working in Germany

  • I believe that, because I became a resident prior to Brexit, my right to work here stays the same.
  • Although my right to work will stay the same, there are expected to be some changes in what documents I will be required to produce. I imagine it will be something along the lines of a European Work Permit. At this moment though, I can only find speculation and rumours online.

Money/Tax

  • The UK currently has a double taxation agreement with Germany (and the rest of the EU, I think?).
  • This means that I don’t pay tax on the same income in both countries. This is not expected to change post-Brexit.

Right now, it really is quite simple. Not a lot is expected to change for us and the worst-case scenario is we will have to obtain a residency and working permit.

We can all calm down for a bit now.

Oops, nope, there’s a GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

Stay safe, kids x


REFERENCE LINKS:

Landkreis Augsburg Website

Gov.uk Living in Germany Guide

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community FAQ

European Commission Website

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