Germany extends Brexit grace period for British workers

Germany extends Brexit grace period for British workers

Germany has extended the grace period by which British citizens were allowed to live and work in Germany after Brexit without any documentation. 

UK citizens allowed to continue working in Germany on trust until end of 2021

Previously, the Interior Ministry had specified that employers in Germany could continue to trust the word of their employees on their right of residence up until June 30, 2021. After this date, they would have had to see residence documents to allow their employees to continue working. 

Now, however, the ministry has updated the wording on their website to allow this “trust policy” to run until the end of the year. The statement now reads: “Until the end of 2021, you can trust a statement by UK nationals and their family members to have a right of residence under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can at least always assume this is the case if the entitled employee was living in Germany on December 31, 2020.” 

The ministry added that this trust policy should apply to both British employees who started working before the cut-off date, and new employees due to start this year. “In some cases, it may take the authorities until the end of 2021 to finalise the processing,” they said. 

Brits face lag in processing of residency applications

All British nationals living in Germany have been advised to register with their local foreigners’ office by June 30 in order to receive a special type of residence permit, known as an Aufenthaltsdokument-GB, which gives them the ongoing right to live and work in Germany. 

However, with now just a week left to go until that deadline, many people are still waiting for their papers. By revising the guidelines for employers, the Interior Ministry appears to be acknowledging that many people are being left in a kind of limbo, with no way to prove their residency status in Germany. 

All British citizens who were resident in Germany before January 1, 2021 are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, meaning they have broadly the same rights as EU citizens to live and work in the federal republic, but not freedom of movement within the European Union. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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