moving to germany

Moving to Germany from UK | What you need to know 

Are you considering moving to Germany from the UK? We’ve gathered some of our most helpful advice to get you started below.


If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, to work, study or live, you will need a visa. A long-stay national visa (category D visa) can be used to later obtain a residence visa. 

The easiest way to prepare for your move is to enrol in school or find a job beforehand. Another option is to enter Germany as a tourist. British nationals can stay in Germany for up to 90 days without applying for a short-stay Schengen visa (category C visa) Once you find a job, you may then apply for your residence permit. 

Check with the German embassy, called German Missions in the United Kingdom for specific visa requirements. 

Travel and health insurance 

Previously, the European Health Insurance card (EHIC) entitled British nationals to free emergency health care while in other European countries. Cards issued before the end of 2020 will be valid until their expiry date. The government will be introducing a new card, the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), but it did not say when. Health insurance is mandatory in Germany so you need to have it starting on the day you arrive there. TK is a popular provider among expats. 

Moving to Germany to UK with pets

If you’re travelling with your pet there are some changes post Brexit. The current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for travel from 1 January 2021. Check the new rules on the official government website.

Cost of living 

Depending on the area you choose to live in, and your lifestyle, the overall cost of living (including rent, groceries, clothes, utilities, leisure and transportation) will cost between 800€ and 1500€ a month. Rent is quite reasonable, especially compared to the UK. Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Cologne, and Hamburg are the five most expensive cities in Germany.


Cycling is by far the cheapest option for transportation in Germany. You may also want to look into monthly bus, tube or train pass. 

Upon arrival

  1. You must register your address at your local registration office within 14 days of arrival. In Germany, the registration process is called Anmeldung. Once you register you will receive a registration certificate called Anmeldebestätigung. You need this certificate to get a residence permit, open a bank account, get a cellphone contract etc. 
  2. If you arrived in Germany from UK with a temporary visa, it is usually valid for up to 6 months. During this time, you will need to apply for a residence permit to be able to stay in Germany. This is done at the foreigners’ authority, called Ausländerbehörde
  3. If you plan on driving, you will also need to exchange your UK licence for a German one within 6 months of becoming resident. If you are driving to Germany from the UK make sure you have the proper documentation with you. 


There are 2 types of insurance that you need to look into getting once you arrive in Germany from the UK. 

  1. Personal Liability Insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) which protects you if you accidentally hurt someone. 
  2. Home Contents Insurance (Hausratversicherung) which protects your belongings from theft, water, fire damage etc. 

If you’re moving to Germany from UK and require removals assistance,our Germany Removals service can help. We’re a friendly team with over 20 years of removals experience. We’re backed by South London Movers, London’s finest removals company.

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