Brexit: Germany passes law to guarantee rights of British residents

Germany has passed a new law that gives UK nationals living in the country a secure residence status.

Brexit: Germany passes law to guarantee rights of British residents
Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel in Berlin in January 2020. Photo: DPA

The new legislation writes into law the regulations applicable in Germany for the continued residence of up to 100,000 UK nationals and their family members who will be living in Germany on December 31st 2020.

The law effectively guarantees UK nationals living in Germany by the end of the year a secure residence status and the right to stay.

But there are certain conditions that Brits must abide by.

For a start they must report their residence to the foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde) responsible for their area of residence by June 30th 2021.

READ ALSO: Britons in Germany urged to apply for residence status by June 2021

Germany's Interior Ministry adds: “It is not sufficient for them to register with the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt). Having reported their residence to the foreigners authority, they will be issued with a residence document.

“This may take some time, but the legality of their residence status will not be affected.” 

The ministry reminded Britons that they will only be covered by the legislation if they move to Germany before the end of December 2020.

And those who intend to move to Germany after the end of the transition period on December 31st will therefore be subject to different rules.

READ ALSO: Q&A will I be able to move to Germany after the Brexit transition period?

“Such people will be subject to the rules that apply to all other third-country nationals: for longer stays or the pursuit of an economic activity in Germany, they will require approval from the foreigners authority,” the interior ministry says.

“If they wish to remain for anything beyond a short stay or certain working visits in the Schengen area, as of 2021 they will need a visa before entering Germany.”

READ ALSO: What Britons in Germany need to know about the law that guarantees residency


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‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

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“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.