In the event of a “crash-out” Brexit, no British citizen will be required to leave Germany immediately.
While the German Government hopes for an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU, it is preparing for all eventualities regarding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Germany intends to issue residence permits to all British nationals and their family members living in Germany in accordance with EU freedom of movement.
If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement (a so-called “crash-out Brexit”), the legal status of UK citizens in Germany will change permanently.
Via a ministerial ordinance by Germany’s Minister of the Interior, the German Government is initially planning a transition period of three months.
During this period, the legal status of UK citizens living in Germany and their family members in terms of residence and employment will not change. However, they will have to apply to the relevant foreigners authority for a residence permit before the end of the transition period. Their stay in Germany will be considered legal and they will be allowed to work as long as a decision by the relevant foreigners authority is pending.
The transition period might be extended for a further six months with the consent of the Bundesrat, the Upper House of the German Parliament.
If UK citizens living in Germany currently have access to social assistance benefit or child benefit, this will continue to apply during the transition period. Existing rights of access to benefits under health and long-term care insurance will remain in place.