After Brexit Briefing:
Germany Business Travel and Trade

After Brexit Briefing: Germany Business Travel and Trade

Last month we began our journey across Europe focusing on the post-Brexit response and travel impact within specific EU countries. In case you missed it, read our blog post here where we examined the current state of business travel in Belgium and the challenges that employers are experiencing in this post-Brexit travel landscape.

Today we turn our attention to Germany. As a regional and global economic leader, Germany holds Europe’s largest economy and stands as fifth largest in the world. Many multinational companies have a significant presence in this strategic location and understanding Brexit’s impact on immigration between Germany and the UK is crucial from both a business and a compliance perspective.

We sat down with Frank Jura, Managing Director Germany and Austria for CIBTvisas and Newland Chase, to discuss the latest business travel trends. Frank is one of the moderators of the Forum for Expatriate Management's Global Mobility Transformation Podcast series. Listen in to this German-language podcast as Frank hosts experts from the field of global mobility to discuss strategies, functions and processes. CIBTvisas has offices throughout Germany in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Ingolstadt, and Munich.

Q: What are the current post-Brexit challenges you are seeing out of our German offices?

Frank: As you’ve most likely heard before, many employers are looking for information on how to manage the thin line between business travel and work authorisation. Post-Brexit, many UK companies are simply providing service delivery to customers in Germany rather than intra-company transfers which require work authorisation. We strongly encourage employers to conduct a Post-Brexit Travel Assessment to ensure their business travellers and their companies are compliant with the new regulations.

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Q: What are the current business travel requirements and timelines to enter Germany?

Frank: As with much global travel, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect business travel between Germany and the UK significantly. Entry is suspended for all nationals from outside the EU and the Schengen Area except for travellers with an urgent reason to enter Germany, a valid German residence permit, or travellers who are unmarried partners of German citizens or residents. To stay up-to-date on the latest entry restrictions to enter Germany, UK, and other countries, check out CIBTvisas’ award-winning Entry Guide.

Q: If work authorisation is required for a UK national travelling to Germany, what is the most common Intra-Company Transfer route? What does that process look like?

Frank: The most common Intra-Company Transfer route in Germany is the ICT Card Directive 2014/66/EU for managers, specialists or trainees. Generally speaking, the process is as follows:

  1. Assemble Personal and Corporate Supporting Documents for pre-approval process – where applicable, documents must be provided in German or translated into German. In addition, if applicable, birth and marriage certificates for dependents must be provided in German or translated into German and authenticated for use in German either via legalisation or Apostille process.
  2. Work Permit Pre-Approval Application – filed at the federal employment agency.
  3. Visa Type D Application and Collection – filed at German Embassy/Consulate or at visa center in the jurisdiction of where the applicant resides
  4. Entry into Germany
  5. Posted Worker Notification – if applicable.
  6. Town Hall Registration (Residence Registration) – within fourteen days of moving into an accommodation in Germany.
  7. Residence Permit Application – filed at the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) to convert the visa into a residence permit.
  8. Residence Permit Collection.

Overall processing times are 3-5 months until the applicant can begin work activities and until the entire immigration process is completed.

Q: Earlier this year, German exports to the UK fell significantly immediately following Brexit. What can exporters do to navigate the required documents post-Brexit?

Frank: Brexit has presented a number of challenges that German exporters need to overcome.

Firstly, there is the added burden of making Export declarations. As the UK becomes a third country to the EU, German companies will be required to make Import Declarations into the UK as the government’s ‘Easement Period’ comes to an end in January 2022.

A second new requirement in 2022 will require German manufacturers to add a UK specific (UK CA) quality mark to products, in addition to the CE quality mark used for the rest of the world. This involves registration and application to government authorities to have products meet the regulatory criteria.

German exporters will see the requirement to comply with these new trade and regulatory rules become a burden on their existing employees, and, in order to ensure their goods comply and are not delayed at borders, they should put procedures in place to outsource these functions to a business services provider such as CIBT.

With the complex, fast-changing nature of immigration regulations and their considerable impact on employers, it is critical to have a trusted advisor by your side. CIBTvisas and Newland Chase stand ready to support you and your travel programme. Contact your dedicated CIBTvisas Account Manager today for more information. Don’t have an Account Manager? Contact us.

This publication is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Readers are reminded that immigration laws are subject to change. We are not responsible for any loss arising from reliance on this publication. Please contact CIBTvisas or Newland Chase should you require any additional clarification or case specific advice.

CIBTvisas is part of CIBT, the leading global provider of immigration and visa services for corporations and individuals with expert immigration and visa professionals, attorneys and qualified migration consultants located in over 70 offices in 25 countries.

With thirty years of experience, CIBT is the primary service provider to 75% of Fortune 500 companies. CIBT offers a comprehensive suite of services under two primary brands: Newland Chase, a wholly owned subsidiary focused on global immigration strategy and advisory services for corporations worldwide and CIBTvisas, the market leader for business and other travel visa services for corporate and individual clients.

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