New law set to guarantee Brits residency in Germany in case of no-deal Brexit

Germany is taking steps to secure the future for all Brits in Germany in the event of a no-deal Brexit by introducing a new law.

New law set to guarantee Brits residency in Germany in case of no-deal Brexit
A German residence permit. Photo: DPA

The draft law – called the Brexit-Aufenthalts-Überleitungsgesetz (Brexit Residence Transition Act) –  guarantees that all British people and their family members will receive residence permits if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

The UK’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that he wants to ensure the UK leaves the EU, whether a deal is in place, or not by October 31st this year,

In a no-deal scenario, British people living in Germany would assume the status of third country nationals.

As The Local has reported, Germany has previously given verbal reassurances that no British person will be forced to leave Germany as a result of Brexit.

However, the new law goes a step further to provide reassurances to British nationals who have set up their lives in the Bundesrepublik.

READ ALSO: Brits in Germany warned to 'prepare for a no-deal Brexit under Boris Johnson'

Axel Dittmann, head of the government’s Brexit Taskforce said in a tweet on Wednesday: “All British citizens and their family members who have been entitled to free movement in Germany will be eligible to a residence permit in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Today, the German Government has adopted a draft law to be submitted to the Bundestag.”

The move has been welcomed by citizens' rights group British in Germany(BiG), however they remained cautious about what the draft law contains as the details have not yet been revealed.

In a tweet BiG also highlighted that a no-deal Brexit would have “catastrophic consequences” such as  pensioners losing access to free healthcare under the “S1” reciprocal healthcare rules.

Germany’s Foreign Office said the draft law “ensures that all British citizens and their family members who are in Germany entitled to free movement within the country at the time of departure can obtain a residence permit”.

The Foreign Office added that the law also guarantee access to the German labour market.

The draft legislation still has to go through the Bundestag and would only come into force in the event of a no-deal.

The Local has been reporting how Brits have been applying for residence permits from their local Ausländerbehörde (immigration office) and the difficulties they face due to the different processes across Germany's 16 states.

Last month we also exclusively revealed that 8,000 Brits in Berlin still hadn't applied for a residency permit ahead of Brexit, even though the registering process opened up in the capital in January.

For details on what kind of residence permits are being given out to British people in Germany, check out our story here.

Earlier this week the British Embassy in Germany urged Britons to seriously prepare for the possibility of a no-deal.

The Embassy is planning a Facebook Q&A at 1pm on Tuesday, August 6th where anyone affected can put Brexit-related questions to their team.

For all The Local Germany's Brexit coverage CLICK HERE

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

Ranked: Italy’s best universities and how they compare worldwide

“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.