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Hamburg and Brexit  Residence and Naturalisation

Leichte Sprache
Wish a translation

Of course one of the most pressing Brexit questions is how EU residency will be affected. Find the answers here.

Grafik Einbürgerung

Residence and Naturalisation

If a withdrawal agreement cannot be reached between the UK and the EU, British citizens will forfeit their privileges of EU citizenship. A ‘hard’ Brexit will have direct impacts on rights of free movement (both private and professional) and residency.

British citizens in Hamburg

All EU citizens may currently reside and work in Germany for an unrestricted amount of time. Residence permits are not necessary. Until Brexit is realised, these rights and privileges apply to all British citizens.

A ‘hard’ Brexit would make Great Britain a third (or non-EU) state in relation to the EU no later than January 31, 2020. If a Withdrawal Agreement does not come into force, as things stand a transitional provision has been planned in national German law for a period of at least nine months from the date of the UK’s departure from the EU. During this period, statuses of British citizens in Germany will remain unaltered if a respective proposal is submitted. In addition, social security is to be maintained during this period.

For the submission of the proposal the British citizens will be asked to register themselves online along with their spouses, registered partners and minor children, who live with them in Hamburg. For this purpose, online registration on the websites of the Einwohner- Zentralamt (Central Office for Residents) is set up. The registration will safeguard some special rights such as the right to formally apply for a residence permit later. Once the registration process is completed the applicants will receive a letter explaining the further steps, which can also be presented to the employer. The website for the online registration is currently “offline”. It will go “online” as soon as the exit date of the UK from the EU is determined.

As a rule, citizens of third states require a visa upon entering German territory. Stays may not exceed 90 days, and no labour may be pursued without the respective permit.

Please see the pages of the Hamburg Welcome Center for details.


British citizens may take on German citizenship under certain conditions. Since the Brexit referendum, the number of application processes has increased noticeably.

By naturalising a total of 657 British citizens until the end of October 2019 , Great Britain has become the leader of the top five countries of origin for the first time.

Even in the event of a No-deal Brexit British citizen can retain british nationality when naturalising as a German citizen, provided a complete application before the date of the UK’s departure from the EU. The date of application is relevant, not the approval date.

Please see the Hamburg Welcome Center for further information.

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