On 31 December 2020, the Brexit transition period will come to an end and the law of the European Union will no longer be applicable in the UK. The end of the transition period also marks an important deadline for German citizens who are planning to apply for British citizenship.
Usually when a German citizen obtains the citizenship of another country, they automatically lose their German citizenship. The exception to this is if a German obtains the citizenship of another EU Member State or Switzerland, in which case they can keep their German citizenship. When the Brexit transition period ends, Germans applying for British citizenship may no longer be able to benefit from this exception.
If you are a German citizen and eligible to apply for British citizenship, you will still retain your German citizenship if you submit your application before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. It is worth noting that it is the date that you submit the application which counts; as long as your application is submitted before 31 December 2020, you will be able to retain your German citizenship even if the application is decided after the deadline. It will be important to keep evidence of the date you submit your application, such as the email confirmation that is sent when you submit the online form.
If you will not be eligible to apply for British citizenship before the end of the transition period, but you wish to apply in future, you may need to obtain a Retention Permit from the competent citizenship authority in Germany first to allow you to keep your German citizenship.
If you would like to get a better idea of your options, the personal immigration team at OTB Legal can assess whether you will be eligible to apply for British citizenship before the deadline. You can book your free consultation below.