1. Entry into the United Kingdom for Germans



Since 1 January 2021, new rules apply to EU citizens not already resident in the United Kingdom who wish to enter or stay in the United Kingdom.

All information on UK visa requirements for foreign nationals can be found on the UK government website.

German citizens generally still do not need a visa for visits or business trips lasting up to 6 months.

Find out more, particularly on the distinction between a business trip (no visa required) and a stay where you undertake paid work (visa required): Visiting the UK after Brexit

Freedom of movement between the EU and the United Kingdom ended on 31 December 2020. Anyone wanting to move to the United Kingdom after that date, for example in order to work or study in the United Kingdom or join family already living there, must apply for a visa beforehand. Certain set criteria must be met in order for a visa to be issued.

Find out more: Visas and Immigration

EU students who had already taken up residence in the United Kingdom before 31 December 2020 had to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme to secure the rights associated with settled status or pre-settled status. They had to have taken up residence and been able to prove their physical presence.

EU students moving to the United Kingdom after 31 December 2020 to study must apply for a student visa (for which a charge applies) beforehand, even if their course started in 2020. It is not possible to enter the United Kingdom to begin a course of study without having obtained a visa in advance; EU students must apply (in advance) for a student visa if they are planning to stay for longer than six months. In these cases it is not possible to enter the United Kingdom to begin a course of study without having obtained a visa in advance. There have already been cases of students being turned back at the border or put on a flight back to Germany A student visa gives you considerably fewer rights than people who have acquired settled status or pre-settled status.

Further information on the situation as of 1 January 2021 from the UK Council for International Student Affairs can be found here and here and from Study UK/British Council here.

List of links relating to Brexit and higher education on the website of the London office of DAAD

Since 1 January 2021, EU citizens are no longer permitted to take up work as an au pair in the United Kingdom.

You may apply for a Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5) provided you meet the criteria. However, since 1 January 2021, it is virtually impossible in practice for EU citizens to do a German university mandatory internship in the United Kingdom.

Under the British immigration legislation applicable to EU citizens since 1 January 2021, it is generally also no longer possible for Germans to undertake part of their legal training (“Referendariat”) in the United Kingdom.

Since 1 October 2021, EU citizens are only able to enter the UK with a valid passport. This also applies to travellers in transit.

If you have settled status or pre-settled status, you are generally still able to enter the country using your national ID card. To provide extra proof of your status at border control, your national ID card should be linked to your immigration status online. From 2026, the British government is free to make biometric documents compulsory. Some airlines will only accept a passport (rather than a national ID card).

Find out more: Visiting the UK after Brexit

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