No residence permit required during the transition period
British citizens who have exercised their right to freedom of movement in an EU member state by the end of the planned transition period on 31 December 2020 will not be treated as third-country nationals in terms of residence law. This also means that freedom of movement as currently granted to EU citizens will continue to apply to British citizens who move to Germany between 1 February and 31 December 2020. This applies to family members from third countries who are entitled to freedom of movement under EU law accordingly.
Duty to give notice of residence
Residence must be notified within six months after expiry of the transition period, i.e. by 30 June 2021. The right of residence as of 1 January 2021 is based on the joint withdrawal agreement concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
All British citizens living in Hamburg will be given the opportunity to give notice of their residence via an Internet Portal. Upon notification a confirmation thereof will be transmitted, which you may print out yourself. The responsible local authorities will contact you in due time starting autumn 2020. If you already registered from 1 February 2020, there is no need to give notice to your residence again – the registration is considered as notice of your residence.
Should you be planning to travel outside Germany from 1 January 2021 onwards, please contact the responsible Bezirksamt (the responsible local authority) after mid-November. This authority will issue you with a Fiktionsbescheinigung once it has verified that the preconditions of a right of residence according to the withdrawal agreement are met. [A Fiktionsbescheinigung verifies that you have given notice of your residence within Germany and meet the preconditions of a right of residence. It will be issued for the time-period in which the final document, the Aufenthaltsdokument-GB, which will come in the format of a cheque card, is not yet available.]
Notes on naturalisation
There is still the possibility of acquiring German citizenship. British nationals who apply for naturalisation in Germany before the end of the transition period agreed to in the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e. until 31 December 2020) will be covered by an interim arrangement as far as retaining British nationality is concerned.
In such a case, the withdrawal of British citizenship otherwise required under the German Nationality Act is waived, provided that all other naturalisation requirements are fulfilled at the time the transition period ends and these requirements continue to be met at the time of naturalisation.
For further information and guidance, please contact the Hamburg Department of Citizenship and Naturalisation Affairs.