Situation at 20 February 2020
The United Kingdom (UK) withdrew from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020, so-called Brexit.
In order to achieve widest possible clarity, we will continuously provide current information on this website concerning the right of residence of UK nationals and their family members concerned, naturalisation of UK nationals in Germany, the exchange of a UK driving licence as well as further links on the subject of Brexit.
Consequences of Brexit for residence rights
Following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020 with a ratified Withdrawal Agreement, an implementation period applies from 1 February until 31 December 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement sets out a preservation of the free movement rights for affected persons.
During the Implementation Period, European law still applies to the UK, and thus free movements rights still apply to UK citizens and their family members.
This means that UK nationals who are entitled to free movement currently don't need a residence title in Germany. However, they are obliged to register their residence in Germany at the local registration office (Bürgerbüro).
Family members of UK nationals who are third-country nationals currently require a residence card in addition to their residence registration.
The freedom of movement shall apply permanently to UK citizens and to their family members who were permanent residents in Germany before the end of the implementation period.
Measures concerning the right of residence are necessary for further residence after the implementation period.
Further information of the Munich Foreigners Office concerning the entry and residence of EU citizens and of nationals of EEA-Contracting Parties as well as their family members can be found here.
Procedure of the Munich Foreigners Office
The Munich Foreigners Office informs through this website all UK nationals and their family members living in the city area of Munich concerning the required measures regarding the right of residence.
You can book an appointment to apply for a residence title presumably as from 1 October 2020.
Six months after the end of the implementation period, at the latest, you will need to apply for a new residence title for a further stay after the end of the transitional period, which means that presumably you will have time until 30 June 2021 to file your application with us at the Foreigners’ Office
Which residence title is granted will be a case-by-case decision based on the then applicable legal situation. We are waiting for further specifications from our supervisory authorities.
A registration is not necessary at the Munich Foreigners Office before the appointment.
Consequences of Brexit for rights of citizenship
The Brexit Transition Act regulates inter alia, transitional arrangements concerning the Law on Citizenship in favour of British naturalisation applicants.
- According to the Brexit Transition Act, British naturalisation applicants may retain their UK citizenship provided that they have submitted their application before the end of the implementation period until 31 December 2020, even if the naturalisation itself takes place after that period. Precondition is that all other requirements were already fulfilled at the time of submission and are still fulfilled at the time of naturalisation.
- However, after the end of the implementation period, UK citizens will only be able to be naturalised in Germany, if they renounce their UK citizenship first.
It is strongly recommended, that all UK citizens, who want to be naturalised while retaining the UK citizenship, should personally visit the naturalisation office as soon as possible, but not later than the end of the implementation period. There, the naturalisation requirements will then be discussed in each individual case and it will be ensured that the application deadline is met.
If you are not registered with your main residence in the city area of Munich, please contact the naturalisation authority responsible for your place of residence.
Naturalisation while retaining the UK citizenship is only possible for those who have applied for German citizenship before the end of the implementation period and have been residing in Germany for at least eight years by the end the implementation period at the latest. A reduction of this minimum time of residence is possible in exceptional cases, such as in the case of special integration efforts, proven knowledge of German of at least level B2 or in the case of an existing marriage with a German national. The naturalisation office of the Munich Foreigners Office will be pleased to advice you on this matter.
General information of the Munich Foreigners Office concerning naturalisation can be found here.
Information on exchanging a UK driving licence
The implementation period after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU lasts from 1 February to 31 December 2020; during this period, EU law will continue to apply in principle to the UK and in the UK, this also applies to the driving licence.
In order to exchange your UK driving licence for a German driving licence according to the conditions of a EU/EEA driving licence, you must apply for this at the Driving Licence Office (Fahrerlaubnisbehörde) of the City of Munich before the end of the implementation period.
For your visit to the Fahrerlaubnisbehörde, Garmischer Straße 19/21, you must arrange an appointment for an exchange of a EU driving licence. You can find more information on the requirements and on the required documents here.
Information on Brexit for the corporate community
If you are a company, a British specialist or a start-up entrepreneur, we advise you to consult the following platforms and contacts, all of which are closely following the subject of Brexit.