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Getting here and advice about your stay

Entry requirements

Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

The German authorities have confirmed they will accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under additional measures put in place in mid-2014.

UK emergency travel documents
UK emergency travel documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Germany.

Visas
British Citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany. If you hold a different type of British nationality, check entry requirements with the German Embassy.

Stays of longer than three months
If you intend to work or study in Germany you must register with the German authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt) within three months of arrival. There is no longer a requirement for EU citizens to apply for a residence permit.  

Working in Germany
If you intend to work in Germany, you should get detailed information on employment regulations from the German Embassy in the UK: www.uk.diplo.de/Vertretung/unitedkingdom/en/Startseite.html

Health
Visit your health professional at least four to six weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country-specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website: www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/locations/germany and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/europe--russia/germany.aspx.

Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/Pages/Healthcareabroad.aspx

If you are visiting Germany you should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state-provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as German nationals.

If you do not have your EHIC with you or you have lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate. The EHIC will not cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment, so you should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

[Source: FCO Travel advice/gov.uk (Feb 2016)]

Travel insurance
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See FCO Foreign Travel Insurance: www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance

[Source: FCO Travel advice/gov.uk (Feb 2016)]

FCO Travel Advice

If you are travelling to Germany for business, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website has travel advice to help you prepare for your visits overseas and to stay safe and secure while you are there.

For advice please visit the FCO Travel section pages on the gov.uk website: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/germany


Driving

If you wish to drive in Germany you must carry a valid driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents with you in the vehicle at all times. If the vehicle does not belong to the driver, written permission from the registered owner may also be requested. The minimum age for driving a car in Germany is 18. It is illegal to take part in motor vehicle races or rallies on German roads.

It is illegal to cross German pedestrian crossings when the red pedestrian light is on. Offenders risk a fine and payment of all costs in the event of an accident.

There is an environmental zone (Umweltzone) in some inner city centres. Only vehicles meeting specific exhaust emission standards are allowed to enter the zone. See the German Federal Environmental Agency site: www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/topics/air/particulate-matter-pm10/low-emission-zones-in-germany for further information, and also the European Commission, AA and RAC guides on driving in Germany.

There has recently been considerable disruption to rail, road and ferry transport between Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Germany. At the end of 2015 the German Government reinstated immigration controls at its borders with Austria. If you are travelling by road, train or ferry, allow additional time for disruptions, be vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities. Check with local media and your transport provider for more information.

If you need to contact the emergency services call 112.

 

Safety and security

Around 2,000,000 British nationals visit Germany every year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Crime levels are broadly similar to the UK. Take sensible precautions to avoid mugging, bag snatching and pick pocketing. Be particularly vigilant at airports, railway stations and crowded public gatherings. Do not leave valuables unattended. If your passport has been stolen, you must go to the nearest police station and get a police report.

There is a general threat from terrorism. The German government has announced that increased security has been put in place as a precaution at public buildings, major events, transport hubs and large public gatherings.

There is no requirement to carry your passport with you, but the police are currently carrying out more frequent ID checks. If you are asked to show your passport and you do not have it with you, the police may escort you to wherever your passport is being kept so that you can show it to them.

 

Bribery and corruption

Bribery is illegal. It is an offence for British nationals or someone who is ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership, to bribe anywhere in the world. In addition, a commercial organisation carrying on a business in the UK can be liable for the conduct of a person who is neither a UK national nor resident in the UK or a body incorporated or formed in the UK. In this case it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the UK or elsewhere.

The UK government takes a very serious view on bribery and corruption, and any UK company considered to be involved in corrupt practices will feel the full weight of the law bear down on them under the UK Bribery Act 2010. The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has published a number of documents on their website to assist companies in this area: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills.

British nationals have been arrested for possessing counterfeit currency. Avoid changing money anywhere other than banks or legitimate bureaux de change.

[Source: FCO Travel advice/gov.uk (Feb 2016)]


 

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