For members


These are the documents Brits in Germany should carry when travelling after December 31st

British people in Germany have been advised to carry extra documents with them if they travel when the transition period ends on December 31st. Here's what you should keep in mind.

These are the documents Brits in Germany should carry when travelling after December 31st
Travellers in Frankfurt Airport in July. Things will change for Brits soon. Photo: DPA

As The Local has been reporting, British people who have registered in Germany before December 31st automatically have the right to remain in the country after the transition period ends.

However, they do need to apply for their residence document with their local Ausländerbehörde (Immigration Office) by the end of June 2021. At the moment, though, Germany is processing the draft law so the application process has been put on pause.

This could be frustrating for the Brits who have already registered for a residence permit, such as in Berlin which introduced a system at the start of 2019, and have not heard anything yet.

On December 16th, the British government updated its advice to urge Britons living in Germany to carry their German residence document (if they have been issued one), or proof of residency as well as their passport when travelling after December 31st.

“If you have applied but not yet received your document, carry your certificate of application (Fiktionsbescheinigung),” said the UK government in its Living in Germany section.

If you do not have a residence document or the application “you should carry evidence that you are resident in Germany,” says the UK government.

“This could include an address registration certificate (Meldebestätigung), tenancy agreement, or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

“If you cannot show that you are resident in Germany, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped. This will not affect your rights in Germany.”

Brits will be able to travel

During an open information evening held online by the British Embassy earlier this year, authorities said that Brits who hadn't heard anything about their application should not be concerned at this stage.

It is likely they will hear back after the transition period ends. After that they can also contact their Ausländerbehörde to apply for the residence document if they haven't yet. The deadline for applications is the end of June 2021.

The head of the Brexit Taskforce in Germany, Axel Dittmann, said not having the document wouldn't mean that British people would be excluded from travel and return to Germany from January 1st 2021.

“By the time Christmas and New Year is here, no British citizen in Germany will have been issued a residence permit. But by no means you won’t be able to travel,” he said during the info evening.

“Simply take your British passport with you.”

'Might be useful to bring other documents'

Dittmann said Brits should also think about taking other documents with them that prove they live in Germany, just in case they are asked to at the border.

Until December 31st British travellers can join the EU queue when arriving at borders but from January 1st they will likely have to join different lanes. They will also face different border checks.

“It might be useful to take with you some kind of documentation that proves your residency. The lease of your apartment for example, or Anmeldung (registration document).

“But it's no problem to travel.”

READ ALSO: Q&A – What does Brexit mean for my rights as a Brit living in Germany

Brits could also carry other proof of residency such as bills, work contracts or insurance documents.

Deputy British Ambassador to Germany Robbie Bulloch said Brits should also be aware of an important point about their passport.

“From 1st January it’s very important when travelling to most European countries that British citizens have at least six months on their passport which is not something required at the moment,” he said. “It’s something you should make sure you have.”

Deadline for dual citizenship approaching

Meanwhile, Brits were also advised that if they want dual British and German citizenship they have until December 31st to apply.

After the transition period ends, British people who want German citizenship can still apply but they won't be able to also keep their British passport. That's because Germany usually only allows dual citizenship for EU countries.

“If you want to have citizenship of both countries get your paperwork together and apply by the end of the year,” said Dittmann.

If you apply by December 31st, you will still be granted dual citizenship, even if that happens after the transition period has ended.

Find more information here: What you need to know about applying for German citizenship

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.