Emigration and Visas in Germany
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Visas and residency
If you are planning to stay in Germany for more than 3 months, you must register at your local registration office within 14 days of arrival. The office has different titles locally such as Einwohnermeldeamt, Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR), Bürgerbüro or Bürgeramt.
If you move home in Germany, you must register again at the local registration office for your new address.
If you were living in Germany before 1 January 2021, you should obtain a new residence document (Aufenthaltsdokument-GB).
To get this document you must report your residence to your local Foreigners Authority (usually called Ausländerbehörde) by 30 June 2021. Your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement will not be affected if you do not meet the deadline. However, we recommend that you obtain your new card as soon as possible in order to evidence your rights.
You will need a validUKpassport when you request your new residence document. Check with your local Foreigners Authority if they have a minimum passport validity requirement.
UK nationals who were resident in Germany before 1 January 2021, and need help to complete their residence application or registration, can get support from organisations funded by the UKNationals Support Fund.
This support is only available to people who need additional help to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. They may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or people who have mobility difficulties. Support available includes:
- answering questions about residence applications, such as the documents you need and how the application process works
- guiding you through the process, if necessary
- support if you experience language barriers or difficulty accessing online information and services
Across Germany, two organisations are providing this practical support: SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, are covering Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, while the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) covers all other federal states.
If you, or someone you know, are having difficulty completing residence paperwork or have any questions, contact the organisation that covers the region where you, or they, live.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
helpline: +49 (0) 30 206066111
SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity
helpline: +49 (0) 800 000 9913
forUK-based enquiries call +44 (0) 800 193 0474
Moving to Germany
Check the entry requirements for Germany.
If you have arrived in Germany and intend to stay longer than 90 days or to work, you will need a residence permit. Read the German government’s guidance on residency permits for third country nationals.
Applying for German citizenship
If you are resident in Germany, you may be able to apply for German citizenship (in German).
TheUKhas no restrictions on dual nationality. Germany only allows dual nationality in exceptional cases.
Passports and travel
You should carry your residence document (Aufenthaltsdokument-GB), as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your document, carry your certificate of application (Fiktionsbescheinigung).
If you have not yet applied for a residence document, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Germany. 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 on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Germany.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Germany.
You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Germany, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Please note: If you are requesting a new residence document (Aufenthaltsdokument-GB), you will need a valid UKpassport. Check with your local Foreigners Authority if they have a minimum passport validity requirement.
Renew your passport before booking your travel if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EUor Schengen area countries. You may have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queuing. You may also need to need to show a return or onward ticket.
You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.
To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.
Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen Area.
Travel and the UK and Ireland has not changed.
Organisations that can assist with Emigration and Visas
Need advice on the most appropriate visa for your needs?