Your Germany posting

A families’ guide to living in Germany

Please check our COVID-19 section for up-to-date information, as the coronavirus outbreak may affect the advice given on this page.

Contents

01   Passports

Do you have a valid passport?

Leave plenty of time for your passport to be processed before you travel; at least eight weeks if applying by post.

Don’t have this long before travelling? Consider visiting the Passport Office in person to purchase your passport.

You can claim back the cost of your passport for all immediate family members where renewal or initial application is necessary.

Claim this in advance to avoid putting yourself out of pocket, but remember to keep all receipts as these will be checked by your Regimental Admin Officer (RAO).

02   Travel to Germany

You must register your vehicle with the Vehicle Licensing Office (VLO) within 45 days of arrival in Germany. Visit or apply through your National Support Element (NSE) at the earliest possible opportunity to apply.

The Aral Fuel Card allows entitled personnel to purchase tax free fuel.

Go to the BFGnet Vehicle Registration webpage for all you need to know.

Your RAO can advise you on what travel expenses you can claim.

You must have winter tyres fitted before travelling through Germany in winter (October through to end of March) and have headlights fitted to your car that are adaptable to left hand driving conditions; if not, you may be required to change the headlights in order to obtain registration for the vehicle.

You are advised to complete a European Highway Code test (not required to register your vehicle). The test covers driving in Germany and, to a lesser degree driving in Belgium, Holland and France. The European Highway Code (Matrix) Test is generic to all units in Germany.

If travelling in winter, consider what provisions you may need if you get stranded in extreme weather; it can snow in Europe like you’ve never seen – consider temperatures as cold as -20°C.

Car insurance

You will need to phone your current insurer to make them aware of your move to Germany, this may incur an extra cost which is covered by your disturbance allowance. You may also have to change insurance companies as they may not insure for overseas postings.

03   Schools

Give schools as much notice as possible on posting so that they can make arrangements to obtain your child’s records.

Click here to find out more on MOD Schools.

Childcare

Attenborough Nursery offers childcare places from three months to three years and is located within Attenborough School, close to the housing areas. Call +49 5254 930 5170 or +49 5254 982 2779 to register or arrange a visit.

As long as you are posted to Sennelager, if your child qualifies for 15 hours free childcare in the UK the same rule applies and if, because you work, you qualify for the 30 hours free childcare, this is also offered by this setting.

There are also local German registered childminders and nurseries.

04   Additional Needs

If anyone in your family has a disability and/or additional need, you will need to register according to AGAI 108 so that your family is supported, both by housing and the medical centre.

For more information on AGAI 108, click here.

05   Move-in / Move-out

On the day of your move-in you will be met by your Estate Manager (EM) at your SFA. The EM will run through the same process as a DIO Housing Officer would do on move-in in the UK.

Do not report any repairs on your 14 day report; you need to report these yourself through Babcock on 0800 888 4242. They will give you an appointment and a reference number – keep this until works are complete and satisfactory.

For more details on move-in and move-out, please click here.

06   Medical and dental

For the most up-to-date information on healthcare in Germany, please visit Patient-Wise

You are entitled to use the medical centres on camp for medical care. Serving personnel are exempt from prescription charges, all other patients will need to pay for prescriptions and dental treatment as per NHS England policy, unless you hold a valid exemption. More details on prescription exemptions can be found here.

You can apply for a free European Health Insurance Card for each of your family members. This allows you to access health care during a temporary stay in an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland but NOT the country you are stationed in.

It’s important to have both an EHIC and a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes healthcare if you plan a trip away from your base location; the EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts or repatriation.

Please note, after BREXIT the EHIC card may not be valid, you will then need to rely on your own personal travel insurance, especially when travelling outside of Germany.

Close relatives of serving personnel, their dependants and entitled civilians must be sponsored by your Unit. Please inform your Families Office prior to visitors arriving. This entitles them to emergency GP care only at the medical centre. It does not cover SHC or any emergency hospital costs. Medication for existing conditions must be obtained in the UK before coming to Germany. Visiting civilian friends are not entitled to any healthcare from the British Army (Germany)/EJSU health service. They should carry an EHIC and take out travel insurance.

07   ID card

Make this your first priority after arriving in Germany!

Visit your receiving NSE as soon as possible to get a temporary Dependant ID card and authority to apply for your permanent ID, SOFA Stamp and Ration Card.

You will need an ID card to access the barracks and the many dependants’ benefits available to you.

08   Pets

Want to bring your pet to Germany? You must include the details on your housing application form and seek permission of the receiving unit to house pets within your SFA. If you are allocated a local hiring, you may not be allowed to keep pets. Bear this in mind when requesting SFA.

Check what vaccinations and passports are relevant to the date that you are moving as regulations change regularly.

There is no quarantine required for pets entering Germany but it’s important to familiarise yourself with the requirements for your pet to return to the UK at the end of your posting. Click here for further information.

Pick up a ‘Pets Guide’ from the HIVE. This gives pet-owners all the information they will need to know relating to keeping a pet in Germany.

For more information call The Community Support clerk on 0049 5254 982 2669.

09   Allowances

We can’t publish details of the allowances available because they are reviewed fairly often and we don’t want to provide you with out-of-date information.

Your RAO or JPA account will give you an up to date version of current rates for allowances in Germany.

10   Leaving Germany

Removals

Your soldier will receive a Posting Order outlining the process of moving through DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation). Once this is received, you can then apply for  Service Family Accommodation (SFA) using the online e-1132 form, found on the Defence Intranet. Book your removals online through Agility Logistics.

Moving out

On receipt of your Assignment Order, you can start planning your move. For more details, please click here.

Getting your family back to the UK

Documentation/UK entry requirements

Everyone travelling must have a valid passport with at least six months remaining to present at both exit and entry airports/ports.

Ensure that you have the correct documentation required for travel, not only for entry into the UK but also for transiting countries en-route to your final destination. Please seek advice from your UWO.

Visa requirements for non-EEA citizens

Please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth section for all information.

Getting UK jobready

Start looking for work at Forces Families Jobs.

If you are employed through the GEO LEC (Germany Enabling Office Locally Employed Civilians) HR department, please contact them as soon as you know you will be leaving. They will offer advice and contact details for obtaining future references.

Click here for further advice on what you need to do on posting.

Checklist

You will need to:

  • Check whether your current contents insurance covers your belongings whilst in transit.
  • De-register your vehicle & arrange UK registration
  • Cancel any German contracts AT LEAST three to six months in advance of leaving. A generic letter is available from all UWOs and HIVEs to assist.
  • Cancel your Kindergeld benefit.
  • Close any German bank accounts.
  • Don’t forget to check what documentation any pets need for travel

Your local HIVE produces up-to-date guides detailing all of the above and more.

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