Brexit preparations for brits - replace bank cards now etc???

114 posts in this topic

It sounds quite bizarre, I know, but if banks / businesses are preparing for a hard brexit, it makes sense for brits to do the same and mitigate any risks NOW that may come later as a result of becoming a 3rd country national in Germany.

 

Ok, we've talked a lot about the citizenship side of brits in DE. But what other precautions would it be wise to take now while living in Germany / or things you should do now, before brexit bites?

 

I was thinking:

 

- Move apartment sooner rather than later

 

- Order replacement bank cards if they are likely to expire in next years (in case you don't get a card with all the symbols / functionalities on it that you have now post-brexit)

 

- Anything else that has an expiry date on it - better to renew now to get the full amount of years validity back on it before brexit?

 

Anything else?

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9 minutes ago, paulwork said:

mitigate any risks NOW that may come later as a result of becoming a 3rd country national.. in Germany.

 

As a third country national, I don't really understand your question or rather how you came up with these examples.

 

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- Move apartment sooner rather than later

 

How does EU citizenship really make a difference to a landlord? Most landlords are leery about renting to newly arrived foreigners regardless of citizenship. For people who already live here and more importantly have steady jobs, I don't see how this will make a difference.

 

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- Order replacement bank cards if they are likely to expire in next years (in case you don't get a card with all the symbols / functionalities on it that you have now post-brexit)

 

What difference does citizenship make to the types of banks cards that you are issued?

 

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- Anything else that has an expiry date on it - better to renew now to get the full amount of years validity back on it before brexit?

 

The only thing I can think of is a UK driver's license; it might take some time until the Germans decide how to convert them. 

 

Being a third country national in Germany is really not bad as long as you earn enough to support yourself (and your family).

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13 minutes ago, paulwork said:

 

Anything else?

 

I know a few people in England who are buying property in Scotland and Northern Ireland and trying to establish links to both these countries.

 

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I dread to think how brexit would impact on monthly health insurance. As self-employed for example... it's draconian already. 

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Yes, I know my points seem odd, but if you look e.g, at the finance threads, 3rd country citizens report a slightly different experience with banking than newly arrived eu counterparts. If there is double taxation, this could also be a consideration.

 

Aside from that, if banks/businesses are undetaking damage limitation exercises, why on earth should brits in Germany not be doing the same for all aspects of life in Germany as a 3rd country national?

 

My points may seem odd, but they come from a good place - damage limitation.

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38 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Being a third country national in Germany is really not bad as long as you earn enough to support yourself (and your family).

 

That's exactly many of our issue though.

 

We moved here under free movement.  Not under any "as long as you earn enough to support yourself" deal.    I understand why people who never moved abroad or who are themselves third party nationals struggle with this but - for us - it's a completely alien idea.  Many of us would never have moved here (or Spain and the rest) under any "as long as you earn enough to support yourself" offer.  I'd not have moved here without the EU package.  And, equally of course, many of us would not have been let in - not productive enough, earning enough, not the right skills etc.

 

That allowed us to have a different set of goals and, critically, underpinned by the mutuality of our union in terms of welfare benefits, healthcare etc.   It's those that sustained many of us (and definitely the older cohort in places like Spain).  

 

The UK taxpayer pays my retirement healthcare here and such.  I didn't actually have to "support myself" to a large extent :ph34r:.    My Union did that, our mutuality.    That makes me completely different from, say, an American or Indian.  We never wanted to be "third party nationals".

 

Things will change.  There were reports here last week of income paid in pounds now less acceptable for mortgages etc.  And - to the OP  - of course many of us have acted.  I got German citizenship, bought more property here (indeed built it), reorganised my self-employment.  That's what my family needs. Not tinkering with bank accounts.  It's two years since Brexit now.  I've long since implemented my Brexit plan.  Most of that was done a year ago now.  I've long since moved on.

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If there is double taxation, this could also be a consideration.

 

The only problem is until they work out a binding deal, you don't know how it'll affect you. Without knowing how it'll affect you, how can you take counter measures?

 

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Aside from that, if banks/businesses are undetaking damage limitation exercises, why on earth should brits in Germany not be doing the same for all aspects of life in Germany as a 3rd country national?

 

Although EU citizens have many advantages over third country nationals when moving to Germany, once here the differences are rather small.

 

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My points may seem odd, but they come from a good place - damage limitation.

 

First you have to define what damages you expect to face.

 

5 minutes ago, swimmer said:

And, equally of course, many of us would not have been let in.

 

Which means that in the future will hopefully have less freeloading Brits, which is good for all of us paying taxes here.  :)

 

5 minutes ago, swimmer said:

The UK taxpayer pays my retirement healthcare here and such.

Whether or not the UK taxpayer will continue to pay for healthcare for their retirees here is definitely an important issue for expats, however, I don’t know how they can now take measures to ensure that their health care will be covered. On the other hand, researching other options would be a good idea. 

 

5 minutes ago, swimmer said:

That makes me completely different from, say, an American or Indian.  We never wanted to be "third party nationals".

 

You may not have wanted it, but your people chose Brexit and the result of which is that you (or rather your people who haven't acquired German citizenship) will become third country nationals.

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That's the whole point.    No point rehearsing the same old stuff.    There is no point of those of us affected caring what other people think.   I've long since stopped listening to people telling me what Leavers (and others) think or whether my Union benefits are good, and all of that.  I still have a life to live and (probably a bigger driver) wider family to support.

 

Now is the time to act completely in our own interest.  The 52% who voted Leave acted in their own interest.  Our government still clearly is, and is not supporting us in other EU nations.  So those of us impacted by it are fully entitled to say get on acting in ours now, in the same way.   Ensuring we and our loved ones get the best deal and arrangements for us.   We can all play that "me, me, me" game :D.   

 

The good thing about Brexit is that it has forced me to punch my weight and be more assertive and (like everyone else) only think of me.  It's made me a lot more selfish.   I have to be.   I've grabbed the citizenship.  My family bought two more homes in Berlin, as an investment for us but also in case friends and loved ones want to come over.  We speculated on shares in the turmoil after Brexit (which paid part of the deposit on that flat).   As I said, the OP wants "plans", well, there is your ball park.   Not a credit card expiry date.

 

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  As a Remainer, I've done really well out of Brexit, in most ways.   Far better than most UK Leave voters will.  I'll also be better off than most Germans (dual national, multiple homes etc etc).   Surprise :ph34r:.

 

The other point is that being a more casual sort, not tied to employment, works better than we often think.  It meant I was always in the same place and so racked up 8 years for citizenship, while many workers have not.   I had to buy cheap property to give me security, in lieu of employment etc, which has also worked well financially (which in turn helps support citizenship) and which also meant I stayed.

 

Perhaps this is a benefit of not being a mainstreamer, here only as they are tied to employers and such too?   The quid pro quo is we must be autonomous.  My family and I know we have to solve all of this, supported by our local state (our sort very much has to trust our city government etc).  We can't wait for other parties provide our life solutions, in the way employees and those getting direct state support (for marriage and children etc) get accustomed to.

 

By the way, I would also note that you may think that 52% vote means "Britons do not want free movement"  -  but it is fairly clear that many of the 52% very much do expect it.  For themselves and their families and associates.   Many leaders of Leave have already moved, and / or obtained another EU citizenship and / or relocated their business.   Only the little people are supposed to be going without free movement, you will find.  There is also tremendous screaming at the idea of needing Schengen visas.   No free movement was clearly only for Johnny Foreigner, we British should be entitled (except the metropolitan sorts who actually do it of course).

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/30/brexit-tax-avoiding-citizens-of-nowhere-migrate-to-malta

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Quite a large proportion of the "reasonable brexiters" (I know, an oxymoron, right?) would be fine with freedom of movement so long as the deal had frictionless trade.

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22 hours ago, swimmer said:

We moved here under free movement.  Not under any "as long as you earn enough to support yourself" deal.

 

You always need finances to support yourself. Brexit or Germany or EU or whatever else have nothing to do with this. 

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Bloke's thing I think?   That our only value is money.   Far less a woman's one.   My skills  (professional, personal, societal) are more valuable to Germany than my bank balance.  Same for large numbers of migrants.  A lot of migrant women are basically here to provide services to men and children that are (at least) as valuable as a bit of cash.  (I moved for a partner).    If I came here to work, it'd be because of my skills, whether lowpaid or high, nobody would be that bothered about my bank balance.    

 

There are many ways to support ourselves.    Note my "ourselves", and your "yourself", of course.  Start right there.  I am not a "myself", never have been here.   My contribution to my family and my community beats earning a few grand, hands down.  That is what sustains me and my family here.  I can find someone who earns money if I need it, or just go out and earn a few grand.  That's the easy bit.  

 

I've been a qualified accountant for 30 years, by the way.   I don't really need people explaining money to me.  Again, there's the expectation gap I mentioned again.   Many of us are far beyond: "oh dear, might need to extend my bankcard deadline" in dealing with this.   I'm not operating at "oh dear, I might need a bit of cash" level.  I'd never have survived here if I was just scraping after money anyway, and I definitely would not after Brexit.  Not how I live.

 

This idea we must "have finances" is also not true.   Again, finance professionals know this.    British graduates coming here are heavily in debt now, because of student loan.   Much of my German family six figures of debt, but can still "support" us.    Many of those people - all with negative bank balances -  live far far better than a lot of Germans dilligently keeping 10k in the bank.   Like I said above, it's another of those coercive lines - Well, of course, you must have "finance", I meanwhile will simply take a 200k credit. 

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Oh, I just thought of another one. Renew your brit passport with the max. amount of pages to allow for the potential of lots of entry/exit stamps as you travel in/out of UK back to Germany. 

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If there is double taxation, this could also be a consideration.

If I understood our resident tax Expertin (PandaM) correctly, the Dual Taxation agreement is between GB & DE & the EU is not involved.

Hence day 1 after Brexit the Dual Taxation agreement is still in place - unless someone has the resources to change it in addition to everything else!

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^ I wouldn't put it past the tories to want to change that. They already put up the price of relinquishing british citizenship. And are charging EUR 75 for EU citizens in UK to re-confirm a status they already have. Tories will find any ways and means neccessary to grab money to pay for brexit.

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Dual taxation is an individual state thing, that's correct.    However, some things will change for sure.   I'm about to stop my business (not because of this) but the intra-EU VAT reporting process I follow now obviously won't apply anymore.  Doesn't necessarily mean the cash outcome will be any different, but the process obviously will change, and thus perhaps compliance (no idea because I won't be doing it).

 

I would expect there possibly to be more interest in our affairs from Finanzamt, because a lot of information flows routinely between EU states.  I've had enough times where I submitted stuff but they already had it.    Outside that, it may mean they come directly to us with items they previously verified directly.   It's a long time since I reported foreign income (Anlage KAP) but I seem to recall there being a separate category for that coming from EU etc.

 

Our circumstances are all different and mine is that of person with relatively few UK links, and who hardly ever goes back.  However, everyone but everyone round me (which is mainly people in finance) have said they do not think we should pay NI contributions for a UK state pension.   However we are also the sorts that don't do that anyway :lol:.   But their theory is they don't know how we will be treated under whatever new agreements there will be for pensions.    They all say it is best to keep that cash. 

 

As to passports, as above, I see the German one as my (and my family) priority at Brexit.  I always had the bigger UK one, it's not much more expensive even though I am no visa collector.  Seemed easiest just to do that in case I ever got the travel bug.

 

Other things that will change will include no longer being able to vote in city elections here.  

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22 hours ago, paulwork said:

Oh, I just thought of another one. Renew your brit passport with the max. amount of pages to allow for the potential of lots of entry/exit stamps as you travel in/out of UK back to Germany. 

You're panicking. There will be no stamps at all just like Swiss and Norwegian citizens entering Germany.

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Well I took it as bit tongue in cheek but - while out of touch with the "negotiations" -. I was under the impression, it was gonna be hard Brexit, not EEA membership, and definitely not joining Schengen (given the obsessive hatred of freedom of movement, on top of never having been in it).  If you intend to fill a large passport with stamps transiting the two, you'd probably be best advised to reside in the UK anyway and not bothering being here :lol:.

 

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1 hour ago, paulwork said:

^ I wouldn't put it past the tories to want to change that. They already put up the price of relinquishing british citizenship. And are charging EUR 75 for EU citizens in UK to re-confirm a status they already have. Tories will find any ways and means neccessary to grab money to pay for brexit.

I wouldn´t put it past any politicians of any party to find ways to annoy people. I resent having had to pay 10 euros in Hamburg  a couple of times to change my address/Ummeldung. Just confirming the status I already had as a resident but changing address.

The way it is,

Not only Tories (though I despise many of them ).

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Well, if the idea is that bumping up passport prices of migrant Britons is gonna pay for Brexit, they are have a very weak grasp on costs and are in for an unpleasant surprise :rolleyes:  ("Just bung a tenner on the passport of the oldies in the Costas, Phil, that'll sort it", "Erm, not sure, Boris").  Or we are gonna be bankrupt.

 

As you will know from your profession as I do, you learn there's reasons we get told to do things as early as we can - tends not to get cheaper or easier later, rather the opposite.  Gather ye cockles while ye may.

 

It also applies at this end of course.  Who knows if German citizenship will be as easy / cheap in a couple years' time?

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