UK to Germany travel

62 posts in this topic

Border guards selectively enforcing rules has always been a thing, that pre-dates Brexit. The highlight was when (pre-Brexit) one of my Greek colleagues was questioned at the UK border, whether he was coming to the UK for the sole purposes of claiming benefits (which wasn't allowed in the EU). The guy had a job in the UK (was coming back from a work trip) and a mortgage, but of course no paperwork on him. And this was pre-smart phones, so he couldn't just conjure them up.  I think in the end he got through when he convinced them that the group waiting underneath the "do not stand around here" sign were indeed his colleagues and I guess we looked nerdy enough. Fun times.

 

The problem is they are well within their rights, so you cannot argue.

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24 minutes ago, Marianne013 said:

Border guards selectively enforcing rules has always been a thing, that pre-dates Brexit. The highlight was when (pre-Brexit) one of my Greek colleagues was questioned at the UK border, whether he was coming to the UK for the sole purposes of claiming benefits (which wasn't allowed in the EU). The guy had a job in the UK (was coming back from a work trip) and a mortgage, but of course no paperwork on him. And this was pre-smart phones, so he couldn't just conjure them up.  I think in the end he got through when he convinced them that the group waiting underneath the "do not stand around here" sign were indeed his colleagues and I guess we looked nerdy enough. Fun times.

 

The problem is they are well within their rights, so you cannot argue.

After visiting my mother in Germany with my then baby daughter early 2000’s, the German border guards took me to their office for questioning as to whether my child’s father was aware I was leaving the country with child. I was a UK resident then though my daughter and I both had German passports.  I didn’t have any proof to show them that I was a single parent though my UK bank and credit cards info sufficed to let us travel.  After that, I made sure that I travelled with copies of my daughter’s birth certificate and child benefit document. They were right to question of course.  
 

A few months later, the German customs officers came to my rescue. After a long flight delay back to the UK, I needed to warm my baby’s milk bottle. None of the cafes or restaurants would help me at a Frankfurt airport. I only needed a shallow bowl of hot water.  A kindly customs officer took me to their offices to warm the milk. A couple of lady officers amused my daughter for a while whilst I had a couple of their coffees to keep me going.  

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2 hours ago, theGman said:

So here's a new one. My parents visited last weekend and at the airport border control they were asked their reason for coming to Germany. They said visiting me. The border guard said that they should have a copy of my passport and an invitation letter from me. He let them through but said next time they should have these things. This is bullshit though right? They had flights booked to go back a few days later.

I don’t quite understand.  My son (US Pass), who lives in Armenia, has never had to show such a thing when flying to Germany.  He was recently in Berlin.  No such question was asked.  Don’t UK citizens get treated like the citizens of the other „privileged“ countries that can visit 90/180 days?

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9 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

I don’t quite understand.  My son (US Pass), who lives in Armenia, has never had to show such a thing when flying to Germany.  He was recently in Berlin.  No such question was asked.  Don’t UK citizens get treated like the citizens of the other „privileged“ countries that can visit 90/180 days?

They do not ask everyone, every time.  

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2 hours ago, snowingagain said:

They are well within their rights to ask you to show you have adequate funds, as well as return flights.   So, proof of staying with friends could be useful equivalent.  They do not ask often.

 

They showed their return flight...that's fine. I think asking for proof of funds for two 60 year olds on a 5 day trip to Munich would be excessive.

 

1 hour ago, Marianne013 said:

The problem is they are well within their rights, so you cannot argue.

 

Well, they are not above the law. I assume they are not within their rights to make up rules.

 

12 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

I don’t quite understand.  My son (US Pass), who lives in Armenia, has never had to show such a thing when flying to Germany.  He was recently in Berlin.  No such question was asked.  Don’t UK citizens get treated like the citizens of the other „privileged“ countries that can visit 90/180 days?

 

That's how I understand the rules. 90 days visa free or whatever.

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Just now, theGman said:

They showed their return flight...that's fine. I think asking for proof of funds for two 60 year olds on a 5 day trip to Munich would be excessive.

Yes, it is.    They could try arguing the point with the immigration guy ....  loudly in English.  That should do the trick.

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26 minutes ago, theGman said:

They showed their return flight...that's fine. I think asking for proof of funds for two 60 year olds on a 5 day trip to Munich would be excessive.

We were coming b/f for years before moving here (with a return flight) and were never, ever, required to show any such thing.  The very few times someone asked „what’s the purpose of your visit?“ no one ever asked to see actual proof.  It was like chit chat.

Quote

That's how I understand the rules. 90 days visa free or whatever.

Although I’ve never done it, I can imagine someone with a return ticket landing here and heading out to find housing.  What happens then?  For years I flew b/f from the US to Berlin to visit my friend and never had a written invitation from her.  I remain perplexed.

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2 hours ago, Marianne013 said:

Border guards selectively enforcing rules has always been a thing, that pre-dates Brexit. The highlight was when (pre-Brexit) one of my Greek colleagues was questioned at the UK border, whether he was coming to the UK for the sole purposes of claiming benefits (which wasn't allowed in the EU). The guy had a job in the UK (was coming back from a work trip) and a mortgage, but of course no paperwork on him. And this was pre-smart phones, so he couldn't just conjure them up.  I think in the end he got through when he convinced them that the group waiting underneath the "do not stand around here" sign were indeed his colleagues and I guess we looked nerdy enough. Fun times.

 

The problem is they are well within their rights, so you cannot argue.

Even though, EU border officials were entitled to question UK travellers prior to Brexit, what the purpose of their trip was, I can't help suspecting that its got 100 times more difficult thanks to Brexit. I cannot believe that say, Austrian or Dutch travellers get subjected to the same amount of questioning. 

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No point in hurt pride- all part of the joys of travel.   Just make sure of relevant documents,   and patience.

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5 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

No point in hurt pride- all part of the joys of travel.   Just make sure of relevant documents,   and patience.

And maybe more documents than you think you need.  My husband once worked in airport security. If the pay still the same, it’s very minimal. Let’s be grateful that questions are asked.

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My point wasn't about random questioning, hurt pride, feeling affronted or whatever. It's about the rules. My point was does every Brit now need to carry a copy of their kids passports and an invitation letter from now on? Or was the border guard wrong?

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2 minutes ago, theGman said:

My point wasn't about random questioning, hurt pride, feeling affronted or whatever. It's about the rules. My point was does every Brit now need to carry a copy of their kids passports and an invitation letter from now on? Or was the border guard wrong?

Not heard of the copy of kids passport bit before, but you need to be able to have proof of accommodation and/or funds. Most visitors will stay in a hotel, so hotel booking is enough. It only gets tricky when it's staying with friends/relatives.

 

I used to occasionally get asked on the way into Germany or France the reason for my trip, but "visiting the family" or "business" was all I ever needed to say. So this is definitely a Brexit thing. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, theGman said:

My point wasn't about random questioning, hurt pride, feeling affronted or whatever. It's about the rules. My point was does every Brit now need to carry a copy of their kids passports and an invitation letter from now on? Or was the border guard wrong?

1 hour ago, theGman said:

Well, they are not above the law. I assume they are not within their rights to make up rules.

 

But they aren't making up the rules, that's my point. That UK border guard questioning my colleague was well within the rules of that time. The rules are always there, they just get to decide for whom to verify them. So requiring proof for your parents' claim is perfectly legal. And because after Brexit it's much easier to infringe on the visa waiver requirements as a Brit, the chances of questioning have increased.

It's a bit like going to the US. I've had everything between "have a nice day" and secondary questioning on the same passport and I have never been able to discern any reason beyond luck. It feels personal, but it isn't. Well, maybe unless your name sounds non-European and/or you have the wrong skin colour, but that's a different topic.

 

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16 minutes ago, Marianne013 said:

But they aren't making up the rules, that's my point. That UK border guard questioning my colleague was well within the rules of that time. The rules are always there, they just get to decide for whom to verify them. So requiring proof for your parents' claim is perfectly legal. And because after Brexit it's much easier to infringe on the visa waiver requirements as a Brit, the chances of questioning have increased.

It's a bit like going to the US. I've had everything between "have a nice day" and secondary questioning on the same passport and I have never been able to discern any reason beyond luck. It feels personal, but it isn't. Well, maybe unless your name sounds non-European and/or you have the wrong skin colour, but that's a different topic.

 

 

So what are the rules? The guards can ask all the questions they want, no problem, but people can't magic up a copy of someone's else's passport and an invitation letter. I'd like to see in writing somewhere what documents my parents (and other Brits) need to bring in the future.

 

31 minutes ago, Dembo said:

Not heard of the copy of kids passport bit before, but you need to be able to have proof of accommodation and/or funds. Most visitors will stay in a hotel, so hotel booking is enough. It only gets tricky when it's staying with friends/relatives.

 

Yea, that's true

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They do check people at random, and it is their job. I was required in France to show my German Identity card. Also we had to fill out a passenger location form showing where we were staying, our reason for visiting etc. I printed it all out and kept a hard copy. You never know Murphy's law when your mobile phone battery dies :(

 

Is the EU Covid immunisation certificate valid in the UK? Does anyone know about that? Thanks

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There is not one single COVID restriction in the UK so you would look a bit silly waiving around EU covid immunisation pass to anyone that cares.

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20 hours ago, paulyg said:

There is not one single COVID restriction in the UK so you would look a bit silly waiving around EU covid immunisation pass to anyone that cares.

 

Indeed.

But that failed to answer my question.

There are no covid restrictions in the UK, I know this. I just wanted to know is the EU Covid immunisation certificate valid in the UK? My Covapp does not include it in the options.

The reason being is, I am travelling back in December for Christmas, and possibly then I may need it. Possibly not. Hopefully not.

 

 

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Mine was early June this year.

Took the yellow booklet just in case too.

 

UK Immigration didn't ask.

However, I needed a test and they wanted my certificate.

 

Tested, as my next destination needed one (not DE)

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1 hour ago, HH_Sailor said:

Mine was early June this year.

Took the yellow booklet just in case too.

 

UK Immigration didn't ask.

However, I needed a test and they wanted my certificate.

 

Tested, as my next destination needed one (not DE)

 

Thanks for the information. I am just travelling to the UK, so I am hoping things may stay as they are now. However, I think the airlines let us know nearer the time what we exactly need per email. Just wasn't sure if the documentation was valid. Thanks for the clarification. :)

 

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