Virginia, US

Aug 02 2018

Draft Law Clarifies UK Nationals’ Legal Status During Brexit Transition Phase

Germany

At a Glance

A draft law would uphold UK nationals’ legal status in Germany during the Brexit transition phase between March 30, 2019 and December 31, 2020. Specifically, the draft law states that all references to EU countries in German laws would continue to include the United Kingdom. In practice, this would guarantee UK nationals’ rights in Germany, including the right of entry, stay and work without a visa, residence permit or work authorization and the right to obtain dual citizenship, among other rights.


The situation

The Federal Foreign Office of Germany has drafted a law that would clarify the legal position of UK nationals living in Germany during the Brexit transition phase.

A closer look

The draft law states that all references to EU countries in German laws would continue to include the United Kingdom during the Brexit transition phase between March 30, 2019 and December 31, 2020.

In practice, this would guarantee the following UK nationals’ rights, among others:

  • Right of entry, stay and work. EU nationals currently do not require any visa, residence permit or work authorization to enter, stay and work in Germany under the Freedom of Movement Law/EU (Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU).

  • Family members. Dependent family members, both EU and non-EU nationals, can accompany EU nationals to Germany. 

  • Dual citizenship. UK nationals who apply for naturalization in Germany prior to December 31, 2020 could continue to obtain dual UK and German citizenship.

    • Post-deadline applicants. UK nationals who apply for naturalization in Germany after December 31, 2020 would be treated as non-EU nationals and would be required to renounce their UK citizenship.

Impact

Although the draft law would offer legal certainty to UK nationals living in Germany until December 31, 2020, it does not specify how the end of the transition period will affect UK nationals on points besides naturalization. The impact of Brexit on many EU citizenship rights is subject to ongoing political negotiations.

Looking ahead

The Federal Foreign Office is currently seeking feedback from stakeholders. A final draft law will be submitted to parliament for debate and approval in the coming months.

The government aims for the law to enter into force on March 30, 2019, together with the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. 

Please visit Fragomen’s Brexit microsite for more information.  

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to frankfurtinfo@fragomen.com.