Cologne Brexit Meeting - Wed 13th Feb

158 posts in this topic

27 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

Plenty of British people applied for citizenship in the EU country they live just in case.   So plenty of people saw if a as possibility.  

 

Though to be fair all the British I know who went for DE citzenship were doing it so they could retain UK citizenship.    Even with a deal, it is very unlikely to be possible.

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33 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

 

Though to be fair all the British I know who went for DE citzenship were doing it so they could retain UK citizenship.    Even with a deal, it is very unlikely to be possible.

 

Yes, so they prepared for Brexit as they could see something was going to happen regardless of whether that was a hard/soft Brexit and wanted to cover every eventuality. After Brexit we will be in the same boat as non-EU nationals so will need to decide whether to keep UK citizenship and do whatever it is we need to do to remain in Germany (visa, etc.) or give up our UK citizenship to get German citizenship and not have the hassle of a visa. This isn't anything different than some EU citizens who live in the UK have done in the past 2 years so they can remain in the UK after Brexit.

 

We have been very lucky in that we can work/reside in any country in the EU and that if we want dual citizenship with an EU country we can because the UK government allows us to retain our nationality as well as having a second one but now that is over and some people seem to struggle with this concept and think they are being treated unfairly, etc.

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4 hours ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

Some people might have a medical condition  that means that they might not be able to pass an official test, or only pass parts of it, then for them exceptions are normally made.

 

 

I consider myself to be intelligent, but yet I struggle with languages.  But I have still made it high enough up the ladder to get beyond B1 which I needed for citizenship.  And with time then even a very poor learner can reach this level and beyond after a few years of study (even with a full time job and a life).  But one must still put effort into learning and make time.  

 

But in the end there must be a line.  And yes, if you are still here after 10 years and can't speak to A1 level then I would have to say that you have crossed that line!

I have only heard of A1 or B1 being required in to come to live in or stay in Germany.  B2/C1 only if you want to study in Germany.  (although I might not be correct).

 

 

 

There are also people who are house-bound, or who are agoraphobic, or who have social anxiety, or who have learning difficulties etc...

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No point in moaning about the Germans (first time I've ever said that) in all of this. As Krieg said, they are, and will continue to be, very fair to non-EU nationals. But the fact is that EU and non-EU are treated differently. The Brexit vote by the British simply moves British citizens from one category to the next. That's not the fault of Germany.

 

That may mean Brits have to fulfil extra requirements in order to stay from now on but that's the way it goes. Can't do anything about it except prepare as best as possible.

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3 minutes ago, theGman said:

That's not the fault of Germany.

 

Its the fault of the Brits that were eligible to vote 2 years ago!

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I went tonight. Despite it being in the middle of nowhere (a school way out in the styx - 45 mins to get there) the place was packed. They said around 2200 brits live in cologne, and another 800 or so in Duesseldorf. I would have thought much more than that, but I think they were taking 2016 statistics as a basis.

 

1) Anyway. There wasn't much new information. At the start they did a hands up exercise and it seemed like barely 10 people had or were considering citizenship.

 

2) What was interesting is that even if you have a german issued krankenkasse card, it must say DE on the back. If it is blank or says UK, (especially for pensioners drawing a UK pension with DE health insurance) this could get tricky in a no deal situation. I wish I'd written notes, so can't say/remember if there was something those people should do.

 

3) They (the panel) are still encouraging to go for citizenship until march 29th if you want to. Somebody in audience said forget it - the waiting list just to get an appointment takes you waay beyond march 29th. (obviously with a transition period you have more time until end 2020)

 

4) Lots of talk about B1 language tests being required not (only) for citizenship, but also for standard permanent residency card. Basically, after march 29th, almost all of us will have to do this just to continue staying here. Somebody mentioned why are language requirements and application fees even being asked by Germany when UK isn't now requiring that for EU citizens in UK. The panel said things are still fluid at the moment in the DE govt re: the appplication fee, but no matter what, a language requirement will now he asked same for already resident brits, as newcomers after 29th march. 

 

5) The permanent resident card offers a "kind of" freedom of movement (like a lite version, as far as I understood it) so allows you to move around the EU, but wasn't very clear whether for work or just to reside.

 

6) The same old BS about a no deal meaning Germany won't ask you to leave immediately in the first 3 months - (as if it was a generous gift!) when actually the EU has just signed off 90 day stays are possible anyway. Moot point. 

 

7) They mentioned some checklist things like checking your UK passport is valid for as long as possible. Converting you UK to DE driving license, getting qualifications officially recognised etc...

 

8) The British in Germany volunteer group are giving evidence to the Bundestag in a few days

 

To be honest the "lecture style" blah blah from the brit embassy guy wasn't that interesting. It was actually the Q&A session that was much more interesting.

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Thanks for the update @schmemley and, yeah, St George's school is miles from anywhere but it's good to hear there were lots of people there. It's interesting about the Krankenkasse card as this isn't something I had heard before and people needing German language skills (B1 certificate) in order to have permanent residency looks to be a safe bet now and is fair enough tbh. If people want to be able to live in a foreign country then they should really have at least the basics of the language.

 

I guess more information will become available over the next 6 weeks or so when Brexit finally happens but it will probably be quite chaotic for the first few months.

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9 hours ago, schmemley said:

 

8) The British in Germany volunteer group are giving evidence to the Bundestag in a few days

 

 

Can we stop this?

 

If they go anywhere near the Bundestag, it is very likely that we might soon have to take C1 to stay in the country.

 

Hasn`t this group done enough damage.

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9 hours ago, schmemley said:

4) Lots of talk about B1 language tests being required not (only) for citizenship, but also for standard permanent residency card. Basically, after march 29th, almost all of us will have to do this just to continue staying here. Somebody mentioned why are language requirements and application fees even being asked by Germany when UK isn't now requiring that for EU citizens in UK. 

 

How many Germans do you suppose live in the UK without B1-Level English? Just about everyone would finish school at that level or higher. 

 

I don't imagine there is much faith on the Continent that UK immigration policy won't start becoming as onerous for EU citizens as it is for third-country nationals.

 

As a hypothetical, who doesn't think that learning the local language is a reasonable requirement for long-term visas?

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8 minutes ago, Auswanderer said:

I don't imagine there is much faith on the Continent that UK immigration policy won't start becoming as onerous for EU citizens as it is for third-country nationals.

 

I can't envision EU citizens flocking over there, tbh. Any way, most of them learn English in school.

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5 minutes ago, Auswanderer said:

How many Germans do you suppose live in the UK without B1-Level English? Just about everyone would finish school at that level or higher. 

 

Yes, but how many people who came to the UK from the EU actually had or have to sit an English exam?

 

I am sure that if the UK turned around and said alright then, all 3 million EU citizens now have to sit an exam and can`t stay in the country until they pass it. I am fairly sure the EU will not be happy and it will break the trust between the UK and the EU.

 

 

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I would go further and say Germany places high value on education and independence and it is a societal norm expectation here that people can learn.  As one who went through the integration process, that taught me this.   It is a not hurdle to jump or a special thing, or anything personal, rather a normal expectation of any basically functional person's capability.  This is a cultural difference from our nations where learning foreign languages is scorned and avoided, and is not even mandatory in school now.    Millions of migrants here routinely do it.  We got to B1 in six months.   Refugees barely literate in their own language (who had really barely ever held a pen before) managed it there as well.

 

It`s not like getting a degree or holding down a job or raising a family or whatever.  A better comparator (but still not ideal) might be passing a driving licence, which people tend to get on  and do if they really need to have a car.  A set of core competencies which only delivers basic functionality for driving, but where we still need a lot of development.

 

It is true that the decision of 52% of British voters means goalpost moving for those who had free movement.  But of course, not all migrants have to do B1.   Many coming for marriage have lower or zero.   So do (I think) many people on work permits.   I think they are talking there about one set of the people who wish to be wholly autonomous registrants.    It may well still not be relevant to many.

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Does the UK even have the infrastructure set up to do all of this possible language testing? I can't see them putting anything else on their to do (and pay for) list at the moment. 

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6 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

Yes, but how many people who came to the UK from the EU actually had or have to sit an English exam

 

You need minimum B1 to apply for settled status in the UK.  

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Just now, snowingagain said:

 

You need minimum B1 to apply for settled status in the UK.  

 

The UK Government have not said that EU nationals will have to have B1 to get settled status.

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4 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

 

The UK Government have not said that EU nationals will have to have B1 to get settled status.

If it's already on the books as a requirement for non-EU nationals, then they don't have to say it. It will become the default if and when the UK goes crashing out.

 

Those who cannot demonstrate B1 proficiency will presumably be eaten, to mitigate the food shortages.

 

Germans, on the other hand, dislike the taste of Britons: they're too gamey and smell faintly of elderberries.

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Yep, I agree with Swimmer. I did the integration exam as well as there were a couple of questions in the test where the answer was that in Germany people are expected to continually improve their knowledge/education throughout their lifetime and not just a case of you learn things at school/Uni, get a job and that's it.

 

We will have to wait and see but it may be a case that for a work visa people don't need a B1 qualification but they can only stay here as long as they have their job and for a permanent residency visa they will need a B1 and then they can stay for as long as they want. But this is something we will find out in a couple of months.

 

I don't know why people are talking about what the UK does/will do for EU citizens who want to stay there because it doesn't really matter. It used to matter when we were in the EU  but in 6 weeks the UK will not be in the EU so there is no need for EU countries and the UK to treat foreign citizens in the same way. Each country can make their own decisions about how they treat foreign citizens who want to work/live there and what conditions they require them to fulfill.

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The other thing to bear in mind is that without our free movement and other perks, we will be less well-supported and thus the need for integration will go up in a lot of cases.   Even going to periodically update permits at ABH and Ordnungsamt etc seems to often run in German, so a spouse, partner or mate is needed if the applicant cannot manage the language themselves. 

 

Being set possible goals, such as around language or income, is also very much to support sustainable lives here - particularly individuals who cannot fallback on local family. (Why I did the integration course as independent, not employed or married or childed etc = Otherwise struggle to function here).

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18 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

If it's already on the books as a requirement for non-EU nationals, then they don't have to say it. It will become the default if and when the UK goes crashing out.

 

Those who cannot demonstrate B1 proficiency will presumably be eaten, to mitigate the food shortages.

 

Germans, on the other hand, dislike the taste of Britons: they're too gamey and smell faintly of elderberries.

 

Shouldn`t you keep the jokes to your comedy thread?

 

Oh you can`t, it is locked.

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