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Further information for members of the public:

08.04.2019 - FAQ

Below you will find further information on specific topics that may be of interest to you for your own preparations.

FAQ

You can find questions and answers concerning impacts on status rights of members of the public resulting from Brexit on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.

The European Commission provides comprehensive information for people travelling between the EU27 and the UK.

Specific facilitations are in place for the carriage of deceased specimens, parts or products of protected species, such as musical instruments, objects made of reptile leather, jewellery and souvenirs made with parts of protected species. Travellers should take the time to inform themselves before travelling or purchasing such objects. For holiday travel, country-specific information is available here (in German), where information from Customs and from the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation for the UK can also be found. You can find further information on the website of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (in German).

In the event of a withdrawal from the EU by the UK with no deal, the status of affected UK citizens will change permanently. They will lose their status as citizens of the Union or family members of a citizen of the Union and will become third-country nationals instead. They will therefore lose their right of residence under EU freedom of movement rules and will, as a rule, require a residence permit in order to be able to remain in Germany.

In the event of a withdrawal with no deal, the German Government will ensure that no one will have to leave the country and that all UK nationals and their family members who have been living in Germany under EU freedom of movement rules will be able to remain in Germany permanently.

Further information on stays, entry and naturalisation is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.

The entry of UK nationals into Germany will still generally be possible for short stays (90 days within a 180-day period) also in the event of a withdrawal from the EU by the UK without a deal. The EU has adopted a legal act that provides for visa-free travel for as long as the UK does not introduce a visa requirement of its own.

In addition, the question as to whether accompanying third-country nationals require a visa depends exclusively on their own respective nationalities. An overview of countries whose nationals require a visa or are exempt from the visa requirement for the Federal Republic of Germany is available here.

UK nationals resident in Germany and their family members will still be able to enter Germany also in the event of a withdrawal from the EU by the UK with no deal.

Please note, however, that delays may occur at the German border due to Brexit and the resulting changes to provisions governing entry and residence. The reason for this is that the entry of third-country nationals is subject to stricter inspections than the entry of EU citizens into Germany. We recommend that you plan more time for this than before.

Further information on stays, entry and naturalisation is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.

According to the UK Government, this will still be possible. The UK is envisaging a transition period during which EU nationals will continue to be able to enter the UK without a visa when holding an identity card or biometric passport. The UK Government provides information on its website regarding the residence situation of EU nationals in the UK following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

UK nationals can continue to enter Germany without a visa for the time being. All UK nationals will initially be exempt from the requirement of obtaining a residence permit for a transition period of three months. Moreover, this also applies to their family members if they have been living in Germany under EU freedom of movement rules at the time of the UK’s withdrawal.

To remain in Germany thereafter, all such persons must apply for a residence permit from their local foreigners authority at the latest before the transition period ends.

Further information on stays, entry and naturalisation is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.

If no withdrawal agreement is reached with the UK, the Act on Transition Provisions on Labour, Education, Health and Social Affairs, and Citizenship will uphold the principle of good faith and protect existing social security rights.

In the event of a withdrawal without a deal, the EU has adopted an emergency regulation which ensures that the 27 Member States will take into account any periods of insurance in the UK before the withdrawal in the EU coordination of the social security systems.

You will find questions and answers on work and social security after Brexit on the website of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Information about family benefits is available on the family portal of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

The Federal Ministry of Health provides information on the impact of Brexit on healthcare.

Answers to questions that employed persons and those with German statutory health and long-term care insurance in the UK as well as persons in Germany previously covered by the British National Health Service (NHS) may have, e.g. relating to reinsurance and reduced contribution rates for pensioners, can be found on the website of the German Liaison Agency Health Insurance - International DVKA. (in German)

As there are a wide range of different cases and questions regarding health and long-term care insurance, we recommend that you contact your respective statutory health insurance provider or your respective health insurance company in Germany directly. You can reach the information hotline on health insurance matters of the Federal Ministry of Health on +49 (0)30 340 6066 - 01 or contact them here.




Grants from the German Government (BAföG)

In general, it will still be possible to receive grants from the German Government (BAföG) for supplementary learning periods abroad in the UK for a period of up to one year as a matter of principle, irrespective of Brexit.

Whether educational or training periods completed entirely in the UK can still be supported above and beyond this after a withdrawal from the EU without a deal depends, in line with the transitional regulations planned by the German Government, on the date on which the respective training period starts. Training periods commenced in the UK up until the day on which a withdrawal without a deal takes effect will be eligible for funding until they are completed there. On the other hand, training periods that are taken up after that date are not covered by the planned transitional regulations. Students and pupils who begin a period of training in the UK after this date can then, as is generally the case for training outside the EU, no longer be funded for the entire duration of their training, but only for a one-year period as a matter of principle.

No exceptions are made for a Master’s course commenced after a withdrawal from the EU by the UK without a deal, even if the course (usually a Bachelor’s degree) on which it is based was commenced prior to the withdrawal.

You can find further information on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as here.

Support for gifted students

The following applies to scholarships awarded by scholarship programmes for intellectual excellence supported with Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds:

The option to receive a scholarship from a UK scholarship programme for intellectual excellence is not subject to the condition of EU membership and remains unaffected by a withdrawal from the EU without a deal.

Other rules apply to funding for courses of studies completed entirely in the UK. The purpose of a transitional regulation is to ensure that students who have commenced their studies in the UK prior to the country’s withdrawal from the EU can be supported with a scholarship in the event of a withdrawal without a deal prior to the end of their studies.

Erasmus+

In the event that the UK withdraws from the EU without a deal, the UK would lose its status as a programme country in the current Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020) with the result that Erasmus+ projects with UK participation would no longer be formally eligible for funding.

The EU’s contingency planning for Erasmus+ envisages that learning periods abroad are to be safeguarded as a minimum (Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals). Erasmus+ scholarships for participants in the UK at the time of the country’s withdrawal from the EU without a deal and for participants from the UK in Erasmus+ programme countries can thus continue to be funded until the end of their stay. An EU emergency measure or other Erasmus+ projects with UK participation as well as for other EU funding programmes is envisaged in the European Commission’s proposal for contingency planning for the EU budget for 2019. An extension of the contingency planning for the 2020 financial year is currently the subject of a legislative procedure at European level.

In the event of a withdrawal from the EU without a deal, UK mobile operators would no longer be subject to the European roaming regime, i.e. the current EU price caps for the use of intra-European networks would no longer apply. The transmission of data, telephony and SMS sent by mobile phones during a stay in the UK would then only be subject to the much less stringent UN rules for international roaming.

It is up to European and UK mobile operators to review whether their wholesale and retail roaming arrangements need to be updated in the event of a withdrawal from the EU without a deal. Following a withdrawal from the EU without a deal, higher roaming fees at wholesale and retail level are therefore possible. As an end customer, you can find out from your mobile phone provider which conditions will apply to your respective tariff.

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