In 2020, time stands still in so many ways, and yet some wheels keep on turning. Like that big ol’ steamboat chugging past on its way to Brexit, terminus. The 31st December 2020 will not only mark the end of a very turbulent year but also the end of an era, quite literally. So, what will 2021 look like for UK citizens living in Berlin?
Posted by our favourite Brit, Katie Kruse
As ever, Red Tape Translation is here to update you so you can prepare for the changes ahead. The immigration regulations for Berlin were updated on 13th November. Here’s the latest.
I am a UK national and I live in Germany already (2020). Will I be allowed to stay?
Yes. If you are a UK national or the family member of a UK national living in Germany, you will be allowed to stay. You’ll also be able to enjoy the same rights of the General Freedom of Movement that you have done up until now, such as the right to live, work and study in Germany. If you haven’t done so already, you will need to notify the Berlin Immigration Office of your residence in Germany’s capital. More on that below.
I filled that form out months ago and never heard back. What do I do?
Put the kettle on, you may be in for a lengthy wait. In fact, the office has predicted it might take the whole of 2021 to get everyone sorted. If you have registered, keep confirmation of that safe. You will be invited to an interview to process your residence permit (Aufenthaltsdokument-GB) during the course of 2021 and bear in mind that as long as you have registered online, your residence in Germany is lawful.
I must have missed the memo. Can I still register my residence?
Yes, but you need to get your skates on! The form doesn’t take long to fill out – you can do it here. You have until 30.06.2021 to complete your registration with the immigration office, but you do need to be officially angemeldet (registered) in Berlin to fill it out.
I just got here and I haven’t registered my address yet. What do I need to do?
If you need to register your new address in Berlin, you’ll need to book an appointment at one of over 40 Bürgerämter in the city. You can do this by heading over to this website. If your German isn’t yet up to snuff and you’d like some assistance booking the appointment and communicating on the day, we’d be happy to help with our Take a Translator service.
What if I want to go to a different country within the EU?
Bear in mind that your residence permit, and all that goes with it such as the right to live, work and study in Germany, will only apply to Germany. If you wish to move to another EU country, you will need to read up about whichever regulations that country has.
I am planning on moving to Germany in 2021. Can I still apply for a UK-residence permit?
I’m afraid not. You need to have moved to and registered your address in Berlin before 31.12.2020. If you are traveling to Germany from 01.01.2021 you will be able to enter as a tourist without a visa for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. If you wish to stay for longer, for work or study for example, you will need to meet Germany’s entry requirements. Check the website of the German Embassy for more details or book a coaching if you’d like to figure out which residence permit would suit you in 2021.
Can I still use my UK health insurance in Germany?
Your EHIC will stop working on 01.01.2021. If you’re keen to get into the public health insurance system in Germany, you should apply as soon as you can. Here are two options, Barmer and TK, using the English-language platform from Feather to apply.
If you’re a non-European freelancer new to Germany in 2021, your options for health insurance will become limited.
I want to move to Germany, stat! Is there still time?
In theory, yes. If you’re not yet ready to adapt to life as a non-EU citizen and have set your heart on Germany, here’s what you do:
- Find an address in Berlin at which you can register
- Book an appointment to register said address by 31st December 2020 (keep your quarantine after arrival in mind!)
- Find a plane to bring you over
- Serve any legally mandated quarantine
- Attend appointment and walk away with an Anmeldung
Then you breathe easy, knowing you can sit back in a Strandkorb, sipping on cheap beer and nibbling Curywurst-Pommes for the rest of your days. And, if you manage such a feat amidst a global pandemic and EU-wide lockdown, then Prost to you!