Brexit and Immigration Germany - 3rd UPDATE

German Flag and Union Jack tearing apartThe majority of Brits voted "out". So be it. Bye, bye; we will miss you.

How will this effect Brits living in Germany right now? Will they be kicked out? May they stay? I want to briefly discuss the legal consequences for immigration of the BREXIT – shortly before the "divorce" is final. What is now to be done? How do I maintain a legal status? What rules will be applicable for future relocations?

Update 2020

The German parliament has reacted with adjustments to the law pretty much as expected. Please follow the press for more current developments on BREXIT as such. This update reflects German law as of January 2020.

Visa Waiver Period – 90 Days

Under Directive (EU) 2019/592, UK nationals will be allowed to travel to the Schengen States for a period of 90 days within 180 days, i.e. also enter Germany, visa-free and stay here as soon as BREXIT really commences. This means that they will remain citizens who enjoy the visa waiver privilege to visit Germany. But when it comes to taking residence here, youwill have to apply from home. However, this right does not include the exercise of gainful employment or running a business / company. Within a transitional period, UK citizens are allowed business trips to Germany pursuant to §30 no. 1 BeschV i.c.w. §16 BeschV.

Transitional Period for Entry, Residence, and Employment

The Federal Ministry of Interior plans a transitional period of 3 months for UK nationals after a no-deal BREXIT takes effect. It can be renewed for another 6 months, under a ministerial ordinance. During this transitional period, UK nationals do not need a visa for entry and sojourn and may work without a work permit. This also applies to those family members who were entitled to vested benefits on the BREXIT date – the European status.

After the Transitional Period: Privileged to Obtain a Residence Permit

After the end of the transitional period, UK nationals - if they are not in Germany during a visa waiver period – will generally require a residence permit to live and / or work in Germany, as do other third-country nationals. N.B. Working, as a rule, is not permitted during any visa waiver period!

The Federal Government has submitted a bill according to which relief for UK nationals and their family members would be included in the new §101a AufenthG:

  • European status for the purpose of education, gainful employment, running a company or freelancing or family reunification: UK nationals and their family members who fulfill the requirements of §2 or §3 FreizügG / EU on the BREXIT date will be entitled to receive a residence permit for such reason.
  • Permanent Residency: UK nationals and their family members who have a permanent EU status in Germany on the date of BREXIT (§4a FreizügG / EU) will be granted a settlement permit – pursuant to §9 AufenthG.  


On October 29, 2018, the German Federal Government published the draft bill for the BREXIT transition period in regards to naturalization as German citizenship. British citizens that apply for naturalization in Germany before the end of the transition period will be able to retain their British citizenship based on §25 II 1 StAG. This transitional period lasts from March 2019 until December 31, 2020. This means applications for naturalization submitted until December 31st, 2020 are privileged in so far that British citizenship does not have to be renounced.

How to Prepare for a Residence for after the Transitional Period of BREXIT?

Start collecting

  • diplomas,
  • reference letters from previous employers,
  • get Letters Of Interest from Germany-based business partners, when freelancing or self-employed, start working on your business plan.

Parallel to that apply for your new status in Berlin via the webpage "Departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit)".

If you live somewhere else in Germany, click this sentence to find your local immigration office.


UK nationals and their family members will normally be subject to the rules and regulations applicable to third-country nationals under a no-deal BREXIT unless they are privileged under the above-mentioned rules. Therefore, after BREXIT, UK citizens and their family members as well as their employers have to carefully check for which permit, they will be eligible.

Are you interested to have this maze unraveled for you personally? Click here to book your initial consultation.


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