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Brexit calendar: What are the future key dates for Brits in Germany?

A key Brexit date is looming at the end of the year, but for British people in Germany, there are some other important dates to be aware of in the coming months.

Brexit calendar: What are the future key dates for Brits in Germany?
Passengers in Stuttgart Airport. Travel will change for Brits in Germany after Brexit. Photo: DPA

December 31st, 2020

The transition period that has been in place since Britain left the EU on January 31st 2020 – and kept most things the same – comes to an end on December 31st.

Freedom of movement ends

This date marks the last day that British nationals can take advantage of freedom of movement. They must be resident in Germany if they wish to take advantage of the more generous provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, which guarantees right to residency, work and life-long health cover.

And if they are resident in Germany at the end of the year, moving elsewhere in Europe after December 31st won't be as easy because onward freedom of movement comes to an end at the stroke of midnight.

Deadline for EHIC cards 

British students and pensioners who are S1 holders living in the EU can continue to use the EHIC (European Health Insurance Cards) after Brexit when they return to the UK.

But their current cards are only valid until December 31st, 2020, and after that date new cards are needed. S1 holders and students living in Germany are encouraged to apply for a new EHIC card if they are due to travel to the UK in the New Year. More info HERE.

Dual British and German citizenship

If you want to become German, remember you cannot get dual citizenship in future. So if you become a German citizen you have to give up your British residency which has an impact on things like tax and access to the NHS.

To keep your British citizenship, you'll have to apply for German citizenship before December 31st. If you've applied by this date, you'll still be entitled to dual citizenship.

After this date, you'll most likely have to give up your British passport to become German.

January 1st, 2020

This is the first day that the UK emerges into the world without any formal ties to the EU (apart from possibly a trade deal, if one is agreed in time).

It marks a lot of changes for tourists and people coming to Germany for a short-term stay, both for travel and the rules on length of stay.

January 1st also marks the day when UK passports will no longer be accepted for travel within the EU if they have less than six months until their expiry date – so check your passport and renew if necessary. For people who are resident in Germany, however, not a lot changes on January 1st unless they are planning to travel.

Travel over New Year

As most Brits will not have residence documents at this point, authorities have advised any Britons resident in Germany travelling around this time to bring proof of their address in Germany in case it's needed. That could be an Anmeldung (registration) document or an employment contract.

READ ALSO: Brits in Germany urged to apply for residence status by June 2021

June 30th, 2021

Residency card application deadline

Britons who are living in, and have registered (you'll have an Anmeldung document), in Germany before December 31st 2020 have until June 30th 2021 to report their residence to the foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde) responsible for their place of residence in order to be able to obtain the new residence document.

Some states already started the registration process. For example, in Berlin, many people registered their details months ago and have been told the Ausländerbehörde will get back to them. However, if you are unsure, contact your local foreigners authority to ask what the process is.


There is still time but authorities have urged people not to wait until the last minute to apply for the residency document.

The document costs the same as a German identity card: €37 for people over the age of 24 and €22.80 for those under this age.

If you apply after this date, your application will most likely be dealt with under the much stricter rules for third country nationals.

July 1st 2021

The UK government previously advised Brits to change their driving licence by December 31st 2020. But now the government says Brits can continue to use their British licence in Germany until July 1st 2021.

From this date you may need to take a test to exchange your licence, so it's best to change it before July 2021.

If you hold a licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you should exchange your licence before 1 January 2021; otherwise you may need to take a test.

To obtain a German licence, start by looking up the information on what documents you need on the local government website of the city you live in. In Berlin you need to book an appointment online at your Bürgeramt (administrative office) and attend a meeting.

Generally, you need to apply for the licence through the Führerscheinstelle at your local administrative office.

An International Driving Permit is not a suitable alternative to exchanging your licence, the UK government has advised.

If your UK driving licence is lost, stolen or expires, you will not be able to renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) while you are resident in Germany.

March 2022

Moving home with family

This is the final date when British nationals can move back to the UK with a European partner or spouse without them having to meet tough new criteria on income, skills and English language level.

After this date any EU citizen must meet strict immigration criteria including a minimum income level – and having a British spouse will not affect this.

READ ALSO: What Britons in Germany need to know about the law that guarantees residency

Have we missed any key Brexit dates for Germany? Please email us [email protected]

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‘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.