From 1 January 2021, newly arrived nationals of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland entering Germany will be treated in the same way as all other third-country nationals in terms of residence law. Here are answers to the most important questions:
1. I am a citizen of the United Kingdom and have been living in Germany for a few years. Do I need a residence title to continue working and living in Germany from 1 January 2021?
If you are a British citizen already living or employed in Germany on 31 December 2020, and would like to remain in the country, you must report your residence to the competent Foreigners' Authority by 30 June 2021 to obtain the new residence document. Many authorities also allow you to do this online. You can find out which authority is responsible for you at BAMF-NAvI. You can also find more information on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
2. What applies to British citizens with multiple citizenship?
If you have the citizenship of an EU Member State in addition to your British citizenship, you can continue to live and work in Germany without a residence title thanks to the right to freedom of movement. This regulation applies to all non-EU citizens with another citizenship of an EU Member State. However, your multiple citizenship must be known to the registration office. If this is not the case, please make an appointment and prove your additional citizenship.
Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have similar rights to EU citizens in Germany. If you have both, British citizenship and the citizenship of one of these countries, please contact your registration office if you have only been registered with your British passport, so that they know of your other citizenship. Doing so will be beneficial to you. Read more information on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
3. I am a British citizen and I am currently not living in Germany. I have found a job in Germany. Do I need a visa to enter the country?
If you are a British citizen who arrived in Germany after 1 January 2021, you will need an appropriate residence permit to stay and take up employment in Germany. However, according to Section 41 para. 1 AufenthV, a visa-free entry is an option. You must apply for the required residence permit at the local Foreigners' Authority within 90 days of arrival in Germany and before taking up employment (Section 41 para. 3 sent. 1 AufenthV). In other words, you cannot start working immediately after entering the country.
If you would like to take up employment immediately after entering Germany, you must apply for an entry visa, which will allow you to take up employment. Find out about the requirements for a long-term stay in Germany in the Visa section. After that, please contact the competent German mission abroad for further questions about entering Germany.
4. I come from the United Kingdom and would like to study in Germany. Do I need a residence permit for entry and residence?
For a stay in Germany for the purpose of studying, newly arrived British citizens need a corresponding residence permit from 1 January 2021 onwards. However, a visa-free entry is possible. If all requirements are met, the necessary residence permit can be applied for immediately after entering Germany at the local Foreigners' Authority.
Further information on the preparation of third-country nationals (citizens of a non-EEA country) for a stay in Germany for the purpose of studying can be found in the Studying section.
5. I am not a citizen of an EEA state or the United Kingdom and I am married to or partnered with a British person. What rules apply if we want to move to Germany as a family?
If you want to move to Germany together as a family, you generally need a residence permit. However, visa-free entry is possible for citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the United States of America and for citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. These citizens must apply for a residence permit at the local Foreigners' Authority within 90 days of entry. However, they may also apply for a national visa at the competent German mission abroad prior to entry, particularly in order to be allowed to take up employment immediately after entry.
Further information on spousal and child reunification can be found in the Family Reunification section.
6. I am an employer and would like to employ qualified professionals from the United Kingdom in my company. What do I currently have to take into consideration?
British nationals who have only established their residence in Germany from or after 1 January 2021 and thus have no special rights with regard to previous residence in Germany under the Withdrawal Agreement are to be treated like other third-country nationals. They require a residence permit from the competent Foreigners' Authority in order to pursue employment. If they have multiple citizenship and are also citizens of an EU or EEA state or Switzerland, this does not apply.
Read more information on legal provisions for the employment of skilled workers from third countries in the "How can I recruit a qualified professional from abroad? - What employers need to know" brochure.
Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community