Brexit information and FAQ


as of 7 July 2021

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

The Withdrawal Agreement has come into force. Among other things it guarantees the rights of EU citizens in the United Kingdom.

A transition period ended on 31 December 2020. The Federal Government’s Transitional Brexit Act relates to this.

The agreement concluded between the European Union and the United Kingdom at the end of December has been in place provisionally since 1 January 2021. The information in this FAQ is therefore being updated continuously. Please use our contact form for any queries you may have.

The deadline set by the British government for applications under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), which guarantees the right of permanent residence of EU citizens who were resident in the United Kingdom at the end of the Transition Period as well as other rights granted them in the Withdrawal Agreement, was 30 June 2021.


1. Entry into the United Kingdom for Germans


Since 1 January 2021, new rules apply to EU citizens not currently residing 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

The British government has stated that German citizens do not need a visa for visits or business trips lasting up to 6 months, even after 1 January 2021.

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

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

EU citizens who started work as an au pair before 1 January 2021 had to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 in order to complete their time as an au pair legally.

You may apply for a Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5) provided you meet the criteria. However, it appears that, since 1 January 2021, EU citizens are generally no longer permitted to do a German university mandatory internship in the United Kingdom.

It appears that, under the British aliens legislation applicable to EU citizens since 1 January 2021, it is no longer possible for Germans to undertake part of their legal training in the United Kingdom.

The British government has stated that after Brexit, EU citizens will still be able to enter the United Kingdom using their national identity card or passport until 30 September 2021. The passport or national ID card just needs to be valid for the full duration of the stay. From 1 October 2021, EU citizens will only be able to enter the UK with a valid passport. However, if you have settled status or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will still be allowed to enter the UK using your national ID card until 2025, but only if your status was granted based on this national ID Card.

Find out more: Visiting the UK after Brexit

2. Residence status of Germans and their dependants in the United Kingdom


EU citizens who took up residence in the United Kingdom prior to 1 January 2021 have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the United Kingdom after 30 June 2021. You can get pre-settled status or settled status, depending on how long you have been living in the United Kingdom when you apply.

From 1 July 2021, EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom have to be able to prove their residence status, especially if they are working or in education, entering into a tenancy agreement or opening a bank account, or if they claim benefits or use the NHS.

If you have not yet submitted an application under the EUSS but were resident in the United Kingdom prior to 1 January 2021, you should submit an application as soon as possible. If the British authorities are made aware that an eligible EU citizen has not yet submitted an application, a final grace period of 28 days is granted. If you are making a late application you should also state the reason for applying late. If this is deemed “reasonable grounds”, the application will be processed. The British government has said it will take a flexible and pragmatic approach to dealing with late applications.

More information on the UK Government website

Here you can find the guidance for British caseworkers handling late applications and examples of “reasonable grounds” for applying late.

See also here for more information.

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. This gives them 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


Essentially, EU citizens who were already living in the United Kingdom prior to 31 December 2020 can stay and can continue to enjoy more extensive rights than EU citizens arriving after 1 January 2021. They do not have to have been working or earning money. However, they had to apply for settled status or pre-settled status by 30 June 2021 and must not have committed any serious crimes. For late applications, see 2aa above.

The electronic application process under the EU Settlement Scheme has been in place since 30 March 2019. It is in two parts. The first part is identifying yourself as an EU citizen. For this you need a passport with a modern chip and a relatively new mobile phone (Android or iphone 7 or newer). The data stored in the chip is sent to the Home Office via an app. The second part involves filling in a form online. In exceptional cases you can ask the Home Office to send you a paper application form. The second part involves filling in a form online.

For a brief interim period, application forms could be downloaded from the UK government website, filled in and returned to the Home Office by email. This is no longer possible. Applications must be submitted online again. Paper application forms can be requested only in exceptional cases, by calling the EU Settlement Resolution Centre (see below for details).

If you are submitting a paper application, for example because you do not possess a valid identity document, or because electronic identification is not possible as your valid identity document does not include biometric data, you will also need to send your documentation including your national ID card or passport by post to the Home Office with your paper application. Before sending them off it is advisable to take a high-quality photocopy (or a scan or photo) of your documents, making sure the passport photo, especially, is nice and clear. Then if the original document gets lost in the post, you can apply use this copy when applying for a new one. It would be even better if you had the copy certified by a British notary public. In the case of birth, marriage and other certificates it is in any case advisable to only send certified copies by post.

Anyone who (also) possesses British or Irish citizenship does not require a new residence status. People who have both an EU citizenship and British citizenship and who exercised their rights under the Free Movement Directive (“Treaty rights”) for at least 5 years prior to gaining British citizenship, are not allowed to apply for settled status, but do enjoy the same rights as people with settled status, for example with regard to family members joining them, in other words more extensive rights than other British citizens. It is advisable, for the purpose of proof, to keep safe all documents providing evidence of the exercise of rights under the Free Movement Directive, so that if, many years later, you want to bring family members in need to the United Kingdom, you do not have trouble providing proof of circumstances far back in the past.

The application process is free of charge.

You can get advice from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre (tel. 0300 123 7379, or from outside the United Kingdom: +44 (0)203 080 0010, Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday + Sunday 9.30am - 4.30pm). It is best to call before 10am or after 3pm as, according to the Home Office, waiting times are shorter then.

A Permanent Residence Card served to document an EU citizen’s permanent right of residence acquired under European law. You could only apply for one until 31 December 2020, and they are no longer valid.

However, you should keep this document safe because it proves that you exercised EU Treaty Rights for more than 5 years. It is possible you may need to produce such documentary evidence in future.

Regarding the permanent residence card, see Question 4c.

The British government has set up a number of facilities where you can go to have your passport scanned. A fee may be charged.

A list can be found here

It is possible, in exceptional cases, to submit a paper application. You can download paper application forms from the UK government website, fill them in, scan them and email them to the Home Office.

More information on the UK Government website

We regret that the Embassy does not have the capacity to provide individual advice on British administrative procedures, e.g. applying for settled status, pre-settled status or British citizenship. The Home Office, which is the competent authority, has published detailed information on its website:





Please send an email or letter to the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh setting out your particular case. They will endeavour to find a solution. In an emergency, an application can be submitted under the EU Settlement Scheme using an expired passport or another document that proves your identity, provided you are able to provide credible evidence that it is not currently possible for you to obtain a new passport. Please refer to the practical advice set out in question 2c.

EU citizens who have been granted settled status have lifelong permanent resident status (see 2h. for exceptions) in the United Kingdom, together with access to the labour market, the NHS, social benefits and free education on the same basis as British citizens. In addition, certain members of your family are allowed to join you, even if they do not have citizenship of an EU member state.

If you would like to know more about which family members can join you, and under what conditions, please visit the Home Office website, call the helpline number given on the website or consult a lawyer specialising in the law on foreign nationals.

Yes, if you spend a continuous period of more than 5 years abroad or commit a serious crime. It is important that you travel back to the United Kingdom for at least one day before the 5 years expire and keep documentary evidence of this trip.

EU citizens with pre-settled status have a 5-year temporary right of residence with the same access to the labour market and free education as British citizens and certain rights concerning bringing family members to join them in the United Kingdom. It has not yet been specified whether all EU citizens with pre-settled status get unlimited access to the NHS and to social benefits, or only those who meet the criteria set out in the EU Free Movement Directive. This is dependent on the outcome of the negotiations currently in progress, and will be communicated here once known.

Yes, if you are out of the country for longer than 2 years after your stay in the United Kingdom or if you left the country prior to 30 June 2020 and there is no evidence of you having re-entered prior to 31 December 2020.

Yes, this is essential. You cannot automatically move from pre-settled status to settled status. You have to have actively applied for settled status before the end of your 5-year period with pre-settled status otherwise your status will lapse.

The IMA is an independent body that makes sure public bodies are upholding the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens living in the UK and Gibraltar following Brexit.

Its job is to monitor public bodies in the UK and Gibraltar to ensure that citizens from European communities can continue to enjoy the same rights to live here, raising families, working and studying as they did before the UK left the EU.

Citizens can contact the IMA via its website when they have experienced issues. More information about its work can be found here.

3. Health insurance


European Health Insurance Cards (EHICS) and Provisional Replacement Certificates (PEBs) issued by German health insurers can still be used in their present form after 1 January 2021 for temporary stays in the United Kingdom. Hence visitors and tourists with an EHIC card still have the right to medically necessary treatment on the NHS.

We nevertheless recommend that you take out private travel health insurance.

If you have private health insurance, please contact your insurer to find out what you are covered for.

Further information at dvka.de

All EU citizens who settled in the United Kingdom, making it their habitual place of residence, prior to 31 December 2020 can continue to use the NHS free of charge. We recommend you apply for pre-settled or settled status as a matter of urgency.

The legal opinion of the British Home Office is these EU citizens also need private health insurance if they are students or if they are neither in paid employment nor self-employed (e.g. housewives, househusbands). The EU Commission considers this legal opinion incorrect.

The social rights of EU citizens with pre-settled status are also disputed.

As a rule, EU citizens who move to the United Kingdom after 1 January 2021 will need a visa and will only be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) once they have paid a Health Surcharge.

Further information at gov.uk

British citizens entitled to NHS treatment should carry a UK Global Health Insurance Card or a European Health Insurance Card with them when visiting Germany. This entitles them to medically necessary treatment in Germany even after 1 January 2021.

More at nhs.uk

4. Citizenship


The Embassy cannot make a general recommendation as to whether it is advisable to acquire British citizenship. The adoption of foreign citizenship is an individual decision which depends on the person’s particular circumstances, and is subject in every country to certain criteria.

For questions about dual nationality/ permission to retain a nationality, see points 4d–g and 4k below.

The criteria that must be met to acquire British citizenship are based on British law. Further information on this can be found on the Home Office website.

Under the German Nationality Act (in force since 28 August 2007), a German does not lose his/ her German citizenship if he/ she acquires citizenship of another EU member state or of Switzerland. The United Kingdom has not been a member of the EU since 31 January 2020, and the transition period ended on 31 December 2020.

Under Section 3 (2) of the Transitional Brexit Act passed by the German parliament on 17 January 2019, Germans who have made an application for naturalisation in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) do not lose their German citizenship pursuant to Section 25 (1), first sentence, of the Nationality Act, even if the citizenship ceremony marking the acquisition of British citizenship only takes place after the end of the transition period.

This means that, if you are naturalised by the British authorities or have applied for naturalisation before the end of the transition period following Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, you will not lose your German citizenship, and neither will you need permission to retain German nationality. It is the date of the application that counts here, not the date of naturalisation (citizenship ceremony). It is essential to retain proof of the date of your application (see question 4e).

However, if after 1 January 2021 you apply for and acquire British citizenship without having previously received permission from the Federal Office of Administration to retain German nationality, you will automatically lose your German nationality. Further information on the Transitional Brexit Act can be found here.

When applying for a new German passport, you will have to state that you have applied for and acquired British citizenship. If naturalisation is after the Brexit date, you will also have to prove that you submitted the application before the end of the transition period and therefore, under the transition arrangements, have not lost your German citizenship.

There are three ways of proving this:

  • If you applied for British citizenship online, you can use a printout of the dated receipt you received for your online payment; the receipt normally states that you have applied for British citizenship;
  • If, alternatively, you submitted a paper application for British citizenship, you can use a printout of the dated application confirmation letter you received from the Home Office;
  • If you submitted your application very close to the Brexit date, it was received by the Home Office prior to the Brexit date but the date of the confirmation letter is after the Brexit date, you can get written confirmation from the Home Office that it received your application before the Brexit date. You will have to contact the Home Office separately to ask it to issue this confirmation.

Please retain this documentary evidence and keep it safe so that you are able to prove at a later date, for example when applying for a German passport, that, in acquiring British citizenship, you have not lost your German citizenship pursuant to Section 25 (1), sentence 1, of the Nationality Act. It is in any case generally advisable to retain and keep safe all documents connected with your application for British citizenship.

If you submit an application for British citizenship after 1 January 2021 and at the same time want to retain your German citizenship, you have to apply beforehand for permission to retain German citizenship. You can find the application form here

If your application for naturalisation was submitted before the end of the transition period following Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, i.e. before 31 December 2020, under current German law you do not need a retention permit.

Yes! Under Section 15 No. 4 of the Passport Act and Section 27 (1) No. 4 of the Act on Identity Cards, holders of a German passport or identity card are obliged to notify the competent passport office/ identity card office without delay (if your habitual place of residence is the United Kingdom then this is the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh) that they have acquired a foreign citizenship.

When applying for a new German passport or identity card anywhere in the world, and whenever a German authority asks for your nationality, you must state that you have acquired British citizenship. Upon naturalisation, you can email a scan of your certificate of naturalisation and of the photo page of your German passport and proof that you have applied in due time where applicable. It is important that you bring your British certificate of naturalisation (or proof of your application as described in 4e) with you to the passport appointment at the Embassy/Consulate General.

In some cases (which cannot all be listed here) you may also be under obligation to notify certain German domestic authorities. Please enquire with the authority concerned.

Children of German parents acquire German citizenship not by application, but automatically by descent. Further information on acquiring German citizenship can be found on our website.

If your child acquired German citizenship through birth, you can normally apply directly for a German passport or identity card for your child, and do not need to apply for German citizenship beforehand. Further information on applying for a passport can be found on our website.

However, please check before booking a passport appointment whether you first need to make a name declaration for your child. All information on this can be found on our website under Naming law.

You only need to register the birth of your child or apply for a German birth certificate if you, as a German parent, were yourself born abroad after 31 December 1999. Further information on this can be found on our website (in German).

Under current German law, your child’s German citizenship is not affected if the child automatically acquires another citizenship through birth.

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU and the end of the transition period do not affect your existing German citizenship. If, on that date, you already hold dual nationality, you do not have to decide between German and British citizenship.

Under current German citizenship law, naturalisation is only possible in exceptional cases for someone living abroad. As a rule, the spouses of German nationals cannot be naturalised if the family is living abroad.

The competent citizenship authority, namely the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne, has confirmed that being married to a German (even for many years) and wanting all the family to have the same nationality are not, on their own, adequate grounds for naturalisation.

In addition to the general naturalisation conditions (such as speaking very good German and having close ties with Germany), the naturalisation must be in the particular public interest as well as being in the applicant’s private interest. Unfortunately this condition is rarely met.

Further information can be found on our website and on the website of the Federal Office of Administration

This often happens, for example, if the German passport was issued in a person’s unmarried name, but the person uses a new name after getting married without a formal married name declaration having been made under German law, or if a child was born out of wedlock in the United Kingdom, but is to take the father’s surname or a double surname. In these cases you have two options:

a.) You change the name under British law to match the name in the German passport, for example by a deed poll name change. The fact is, it is easier to change the name on a British passport than on a German passport.

b) If, however, you or your child want to have the name that is on your British passport on your German passport as well, it depends on the individual case as to whether it is possible to change the name on the German passport and how this is done. Unfortunately a British change of name by deed poll will not be recognised. However, you can make a German name declaration and then apply for a new passport in the new name. General information on name declarations can be found on our website.

Unfortunately, since 1 January 2021, name declarations under Article 48 of the Introductory Act to the German Civil Code (EGBGB) whereby it used to be possible to take a name from a British civil status certificate are no longer possible as, since Brexit and the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom is no longer treated as an EU member state. In the past, a declaration of this kind was used mostly, though not exclusively, in the following circumstances:

  • a double surname (consisting of the surnames of both parents, with or without a hyphen) is to be chosen for a minor (or a child who has reached majority)
  • a minor is to be given a surname which differs from the surnames of both parents (e.g. grandfather’s surname, father’s first name or even a made-up name)

Unfortunately this will be difficult now that Article 48 of the Introductory Act to the German Civil Code (EGBGB) (see answer to 4m above) is no longer applicable. The safest way is to opt immediately for either the mother’s or the father’s surname and have this entered on the British birth certificate.

If one parent holds another nationality (other than British and German), it is worth checking whether an alternative kind of name declaration might be an option (opting for the law of another country).

If a name declaration is not possible, but you want to keep the double surname, there is also the option of a name change under public law. Please contact us if you would like further information on this.

5. Residence status of British citizens and their dependants in Germany and entry regulations after 1 January 2021


Since 1 January 2021, UK nationals and their family members who are third-country nationals who were entitled to live or work in Germany (or another EU member state) until that date and who also exercised that right will essentially have the same rights as they had before withdrawal. In other words, provided these rights were exercised, they will be effectively frozen. These rights exist “by law”, which means you can assert them without having to take any further action. However, in order to be able to provide evidence that you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you must have a residence document, which you can obtain from the foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde) responsible for your place of residence. UK nationals living in Germany on 31 December 2020 and continuing to live in Germany had to report their residence to the foreigners authority responsible for their place of residence by 30 June 2021 in order to be able to obtain the new residence document. However, this privilege only applies to British citizens (with “British citizen” on their passport) who, based on their status, were treated as citizens of the Union during the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. The website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior contains complete information covering all possible scenarios.

British citizens (with “British citizen” on their passport) do not need a visa for visits and/or business trips involving a stay of up to 90 days in a 180-day period. However, this only applies if they will not be pursuing an economic activity. British citizens from the following Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Montserrat, St. Helena and Turks and Caicos Islands also enjoy this Privilege.

For UK nationals, the Schengen entry requirements for third-country nationals not requiring a visa apply:
When crossing the border, travellers must have with them the necessary documents and evidence required for entry into the Schengen states, in particular a valid travel document and evidence of the purpose and circumstances of the intended stay. They must also have sufficient funds to cover living costs (both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return journey). This normally includes holding valid, appropriate travel health insurance cover. As a rule, from 1 January 2021 an EHIC card is no longer sufficient.

After 1 January 2021 UK nationals arriving in Germany are subject to general German law on third-country nationals. However the following applies despite Brexit:

  • UK nationals arriving in Germany for long term stays, such as study or work, do not need a visa. However, after entry into Germany you will have to apply for a residence permit from your local Foreigners Authority (Ausländerbehörde). If you wish to start work before you obtain your residence permit, you will have to apply for a visa for the purpose of employment at your local German mission before entry into Germany. You can find more details on the requirements and procedure on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (in German), and on our website.
  • UK skilled workers and other workers arriving in Germany will have easier access to the labour market. The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) can approve and priority-check applications for those wishing to take up employment of any kind in Germany, regardless of where the employer is based.

Holders of British residence cards for family members of EU/ EEA citizens were able to still enter the EU without requiring a visa until 31 December 2020. This privilege only applied if they were entering the EU together with the EU/EEA citizen. It did not apply to holders of British residence cards granted under the EU Settlement Scheme. These rights have ceased to apply now that the transition period has ended.

Since 1 January 2021 these facilities granted on the basis of the right of free movement are no longer applicable for non-EU family members of UK and German nationals, either when applying for a visa, or when crossing the border.

After the end of the transition period, travellers who still hold a visa granted to a family member of a UK or German national under the freedom of movement legislation should carry with them when crossing the border all the proof they need for entry into a Schengen state, e.g. proof of accommodation, of gainful employment, of sufficient means of support during their stay, letters of invitation or return flight tickets, as well as evidence of their economic situation in their home country and their intention to leave the territory of the member states before the visa expires.

As of 1 January 2021, nationals of the following countries need a Category A airport visa for each airport transit in Germany:

Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ghana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, (special rules for transit from and to Australia, Israel and New Zealand), Congo (Democratic Republic), Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Turkey (individual exemptions for holders of diplomatic, service and other official passports)

The following persons do not need an airport visa:

  • Holders of a valid visa and national residence permit for the EU and Schengen states
  • Holders of certain national residence permits for the following countries: Andorra, Japan, Canada, San Marino, United States of America
  • Holders of a valid visa for the EEA states (EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) and Japan, Canada and the United States of America.

As of 1 January 2021, possession of a British visa and residence permit no longer exempts travellers from the airport visa requirement.

The following UK convention passports still entitle the holder to visa-free entry after 1 January 2021.

  • Convention Travel Document for Refugees (1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, dark blue)
  • Stateless Person’s Travel Document (1954 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, red)

Holders of a UK Alien’s Passport (Certificate of Travel – black) still require a visa as previously.

The travel facilities for pupils of British schools who would normally require a visa will also remain in place, as far as Germany is concerned, after 1 January 2021. Under the conditions stated in the Council decision of 30 November 1994 - 94/795/JI, these pupils will not require a visa in future either. However, the British Council has already stated that from 1 January 2021 its List of Travellers visa scheme will no longer be available.

6. Social insurance


EU law continued to apply to the United Kingdom until the end of the transition period. During this period, there was no change to the conditions for accessing social security benefits in the United Kingdom. The Withdrawal Agreement also provides legal certainty for the time after the transition period, i.e. from 1 January 2021.

EU citizens and UK nationals who at the end of the transition period are subject to British social security legislation, plus their family members and surviving dependants, will continue to have access to social security benefits in the United Kingdom as previously.

The same applies to persons who, at the end of the transition period, have their place of residence or habitual residence in an EU member state and are subject to British social security legislation.

There are no changes to pension and health insurance for UK nationals already living in Germany on 31 December 2020.

For UK nationals who move to Germany after 1 January 2021, British or German social security legislation may apply. The rules set out in the Withdrawal and Cooperation Agreement are largely the same as the previous provisions.

Please refer to the information at dvka.de and gov.uk

7. Private pension provision/ Financial services


Problems can arise with company pensions if the pension beneficiary takes up permanent residence outside of the United Kingdom. From 1 January 2021 British pension funds will no longer be authorised in the EU and therefore will no longer be able to make payments to persons resident there.

Therefore if you are planning to leave the United Kingdom permanently, you should contact your pension provider in good time to make sure that you will still be able to access your Pension.

After the United Kingdom left the EU single market on 31 December 2020, the cross-border availability of financial services such as insurance and banking services between the EU and the United Kingdom may be affected in cases where the providers concerned have failed to take or are late in taking the necessary precautions to keep these operations running.

8. Driving licence


Yes. Holders of a German driving licence can drive in the United Kingdom. An International Driving Licence is not currently required, according the UK Department for Transport.

German driving licence holders with permanent residence in the United Kingdom can also exchange their driving licence without having to take another driving test. You can use your German driving licence for as long as it is valid, subject to the British requirements regarding licence extensions. Under these rules, a driving licence has to be renewed either when the holder reaches the age of 70 or 3 years after the holder took up residence – whichever is the later date.

If you have any questions regarding your driving licence or your particular situation, please contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) directly

To find out more about the validity of foreign driving licences in the United Kingdom, there is a tool on the website of the British Government which enables you to check specifically what driving licence rules apply to you.

These rules may still change in the future, as the arrangements concerning driving licences were not included in the Withdrawal Agreement, but were agreed on separately. Talks are currently taking place between the United Kingdom and each individual EU member state, including Germany, regarding the long-term rules on driving licences.

Yes. Holders of a British driving licence can drive in Germany if they are visiting temporarily (e.g. on holiday).

Important: An accompanying translation must be provided with British driving licences that do not meet the requirements set out in Annex 6 of the Convention on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968. The translation must be supplied by an internationally recognised motoring association in the issuing state (in the United Kingdom: the RAC or AA) or an agency specified by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. (German Driving Licence Ordinance Section 29 (2)).

Holders of a British driving licence with permanent residence in Germany must have their British driving licence re-registered as an EU/EEA driving licence within six months.

Definition of “taking up residence”: For driving licence purposes, a person is legally deemed to have taken up residence in Germany if he or she lives in Germany for at least 185 days of the year. You need to check the start date applicable to you, particularly in the case of Brexit, with the local driving licence authority.

These rules may still change in the future, as the arrangements concerning driving licences were not included in the Withdrawal Agreement, but were agreed on separately. Talks are currently taking place between the United Kingdom and each individual EU member state, including Germany, regarding the long-term rules on driving licences.

9. Imports and exports/ Customs


Since 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU Customs Union. From that date onwards, the customs formalities provided for in Union law apply to all goods taken

  • from the United Kingdom to the customs territory of the Union or
  • from the customs territory of the Union to the United Kingdom.

This will still be the case if a free trade agreement is signed with the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom counts as a “third country”/ non-EU state; this means that lower duty-free limits will apply when entering Germany.

Find out more zoll.de (in German)

General Brexit-related information for private individuals in English

General information from the British government can be found here and here

10. BAföG student loans for Germans in the United Kingdom and UK nationals in Germany


Yes. On 24 November 2020, a transitional provision was introduced in relation to Section 66b of the Federal Law concerning the Promotion of Education (BAföG) by the “Law on the Current Adaptation of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU and Other Provisions to Union Law” relating to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Trainees starting or continuing their training in the United Kingdom by 31 December 2020 will keep their entitlement to BAföG student loans until they have completed that phase of their training, even beyond the end of the transition period under the Withdrawal Agreement on 31 December 2020. This transitional provision in the BAföG law ensures that students and schoolchildren can focus on their education in the United Kingdom and hopefully complete it successfully.

UK nationals and their family members living in Germany may also be entitled to apply for a BAföG student loan after 31 December 2020, on condition that they are covered by the personal scope of application set out in Article 10 of the Withdrawal Agreement and are entitled to maintenance aid for studies in accordance with Article 23 (2) of the Agreement. This is the case if they have acquired a right of permanent residence under Article 15 of the Withdrawal Agreement or belong to the group of workers, self-employed persons and others who retain this status, or their family members.


Work/ Social Affairs
Right of residence in Germany
Right of residence in the UK/ Settled Status
Federal Employment Agency
BAföG Student loans
Finance/ Tax
UK driving licence
Health insurance
Living in Germany
Settled Status checker
Environment/ Reach
UK Transition period
Economic Affairs/ Buiseness

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