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).

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02   Travel to Germany

Before travelling to Germany it is advisable to obtain an International Driving Permit from a UK Post Office.

Post 31 Dec 2020 a Green Card will be required for all vehicle insurance issued from the UK for use within the EU. 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.

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03   Schools

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

All parents need to obtain educational clearance for their children, aged 0 to 19, before proceeding with a move overseas. Educational clearance is provided by the receiving MOD school or by CEAS, dependent on the assignment location and the age of your children.

As the clearance process can take up to nine weeks, it is recommended that an early application is made to ensure that the needs of the child can be met in the new assignment location. Click here for further information on educational clearance.

Please note that there is no longer an MOD senior school option in Germany or weekly boarding.

Elective home education or ‘home-schooling’ is not currently supported in Germany.  

Click here to find out more on MOD Schools.

Childcare

In Sennelager, Attenborough Nursery offers childcare places from three months to three years, as well as extended day care up to five 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.

Alternatively, local German-registered childminders and nurseries offer year-round full and part-time childcare options.  If you are a dual-serving or working family, current MOD nursery provision may not support your childcare needs. This will be at personal cost.

In those locations in Germany where there is no MOD childcare setting you may be entitled to claim Overseas Nursery Authority against the costs of local host nation provision.

Children aged 18-24

Dependants aged 18-24 or older, who are not in full-time education, are not recognised as ‘entitled dependents’ on accompanied overseas assignments.

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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.

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05   Move-in / Move-out

Move in – a minimum of 8 weeks’ notice must be given to the Housing team for your move in.

Move out – a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice must be given to the Housing team for your 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.

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06   Medical and dental

For information on health and dental services in Germany, please visit bfgnet.de/health

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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 (temporary ID passes are issued by Welfare) and authority to apply for your permanent ID, SOFA Stamp and Ration Card (Unit Clerk or Welfare will give the email address and forms to apply for SOFA Stamps, Ration Cards and Permanent ID Passes for Dependants).

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

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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.

All dogs must be registered via your local NSE and you will require the following documents: 

  • Your ID or passport
  • Your dog’s pet passport
  • Your pet insurance, which has personal liability valid for Germany (Haftpflichtversicherung)
  • You will need to provide the contact details of the vet at which you are registered

If your dog is over 20kg or over 40cm (shoulder height) they are classified as a large dog. This means that you will also need to obtain a General Knowledge Test Certificate from your local vet, which will cost approximately €45 (this may differ between vets).

In Sennelager, you can contact 05254 982 2669 or email SennelagerGSU-HQ-G1-CommSpAdmin@mod.gov.uk to make an appointment or if you have any questions. In other areas of Germany, please contact your local NSE.

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.

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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.

Kindergeld

There is no further entitlement for new Kindergeld claims for families assigned to Germany.

Please click here for all the latest information.

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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 job-ready

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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