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

The Local Germany
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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

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.


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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