A tourists carries a Union Jack umbrella in Berlin. Photo: DPA
As the Local has reported, British residents in Berlin are being asked to submit their details in an online form, which state authorities released on January 3rd, to confirm their status as a resident in Germany ahead of Brexit.
On Tuesday, the state of Berlin said 3,600 people have registered since the activation of the form, which asks for personal details.
The voluntary form offers British nationals living in Berlin the chance to secure their residence status after the UK leaves the EU on the expected departure date of midnight on March 29th. By applying online, users can print out a confirmation of the application and they then have proof of legal residence.
The service is free of charge, the state said, and is only available to British citizens residing in Berlin.
From April onward, the immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) plans to contact everyone who's registered online and invite them for an official appointment.
“If Brexit does not take place, all data will be deleted immediately,” the interior senate administration added.
It is estimated that around 18,000 British people live in Berlin, although the number is likely far higher.
'Historically unique situation'
Torsten Akmann, interior state secretary, said the registration service helped secure the future of residents, especially in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
He said: “It is a historically unique situation for a member state to want to leave the European Union. Many thousands of British citizens would lose their freedom of movement with a hard Brexit and would be without a residence permit overnight.
“The Berlin Immigration Department service is giving those affected in our city security and prospects for the future.”
'Concern for Brits'
As we reported previously, the move to launch a registration process in Berlin, ahead of all other German states, raised concerns of some British people living in Berlin.
It was also described as “contentious” that the registration process was being launched while Brits still had their EU citizens' rights.
Daniel Tetlow, a co-founder of British in Germany, told The Local it was a “concern for many members” that a single German federal state was going ahead with this process without the joint coordination of other states. This was in effect “leaving many Brits in the dark” about their future status in Germany.
Campaigners have, however, stressed that they are working with German authorities positively and Tetlow has said it's important to remember that the German government has said clearly that no Brits will be asked to leave the country as a result of Brexit.
It came ahead of the British government's crunch vote on Tuesday evening on the Brexit agreement negotiated with Brussels by Prime Minister Theresa May.