Your Germany posting

A families’ guide to living in Germany

Overview

If you’re posted to, or considering, a Germany posting you will find that there have been many changes since the Army drawdown in 2019 and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Hopefully, we can answer most of your questions on this page, but do get in touch at overseassupport@aff.org.uk if you need more info. There’s also a handy overseas compatibility checklist you can download.

Most military personnel and their families are based in Sennelager but there are several detachment postings in Germany; information and family support may differ dependent upon your location and you may be covered by our Overseas Assistant (EJSU).

See also our BREXIT – EU Transition page for up-to-date information.

Contents

01   Passports

Do you have a valid passport? For those assigned overseas there is a dedicated Armed Forces Passport team – see our Passports, travel and personal admin section.

If someone in your family is not a British passport holder, you must ensure they have the right travel documentation for the country that you are posted to. See our Overseas assignments for F&C families page.

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02   Travel to Germany

A Green Card is 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   Spousal employment

NATO SOFA

Following AFF discussion with the Global Support Organisation, a new Force Information Note (03/2022) has been developed.

For more information see:

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04   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 supportability clearance for their children, aged 0 to 18, before proceeding with a move overseas. Educational clearance is provided by the receiving MOD school or by the Education Advisory Team (EAT) (UK), 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. See Education overseas for service children for further information on educational supportability.

Secondary school options in Germany are limited. There is no MOD secondary school or international schools within reasonable travelling distance of Sennelager. There are no suitable local boarding options and elective home education is not routinely supported.

If you opt for a German senior school be aware that they do not follow a UK curriculum and ‘bi-lingual’ schools will expect pupils to be fluent in German.

Parents may contact the Overseas Education and Supportability (OES) Team via RC-DCS-HQ-OES@mod.gov.uk who can provide advice and guidance regarding educational options for Germany in ISODET locations.

Current MOD schools in Germany are:

Ramstein: St David’s Primary School (3 to 11 years)

Sennelager: Attenborough School (2 to 11 years)

Extended day care

Attenborough School offers care for up to 30 hours a week for children aged three and four in Foundation Stage 1 (from the term after their third birthday).

It also offers breakfast and after-school provision from 8am until 4pm for all children.

Children from Foundation Stage 1 to age 11 will receive educational clearance through the school. This will be facilitated through the Families Section as part of the supportability process.

All educational clearances for two to three-year-olds (before school age) are cleared through RC-DCS-HQ-OES@mod.gov.uk

Childcare

Alternatively, local German-registered childminders and nurseries in Sennelager offer year-round full and part-time childcare options. Whilst these tend to be cheaper, it is important to note that this option is at personal cost. Contact Germany HIVE or your NSE welfare for more information and support regarding German Kindergarten applications. You should apply as soon as possible as places can be limited.

Isolated detachments – 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. The ONA allows parents of three to four-year-olds to apply for reimbursement of nursery fees. More information can be found at GOV.UK: Childcare for Service children – Overseas Nursery Authority (ONA). This does not apply to Sennelager or Ramstein – it is only possible to claim ONA for the top-up from 15 to 30 hours if you’re eligible. The universal 15 hours is provided in the MOD school in each location.

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. Families with dependent adult children should seek advice on their entitlement to accompany a serving person overseas and understand the potential limitations.

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05   Additional Needs

Do you or any family member have disabilities/additional needs? If yes, then you should discuss these needs with your assigning authority as early as possible to ensure that suitable support can be provided prior to your assignment being confirmed.

For more information on this process, see Military policy and support on our additional needs page.

Any families wishing to discuss medical issues in confidence prior to accepting an overseas assignment order may contact the Defence Global Practice on: UKStratcom-DMS-DPHC-DGP-Enquiry@mod.gov.uk

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06   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. You must complete a form ToR1. Your shipping agent should be able to advise you.

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.

For more details on move-in and move-out, please see Germany Enabling Office: housing

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07   Medical and dental

Primary healthcare in Germany is managed in Sennelager with DPHC and in other Germany locations through the Central European Practice or Healix. Secondary care is provided locally by host nation providers in all locations.

It is essential that all medical supportability screening forms are completed for each family member as soon as possible prior to arrival to ensure that you are eligible for medical treatment. You will need to complete both MOD and Healix medical screening for all family members.

Your UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will continue to be valid until its current expiry date. See our Overseas Health – UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) section

In Sennelager all dental treatment is delivered through the Dental Centre on camp and in other locations at German practices. Your family will be entitled to standard NHS treatment but any treatment beyond this must have UK approval first. All boarding school children must be registered with a UK dentist and are expected to access routine and specialist dental care in the UK, however, they are entitled to routine dental treatment from host nation providers during School Children’s Visits (SCVs) subject to availability of provision.

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08   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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09   Pets

If you wish to bring pets to EU countries you will need to plan ahead as they may need microchips, rabies vaccinations, tapeworm treatments and an animal health certificate. For more information see GOV.UK: Taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad

You must also 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.

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.

There is no quarantine required for pets entering Germany.

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10   Allowances

Your RAO or JPA account will give you an up-to-date version of current rates for allowances in Germany. For general information on Local Overseas Allowance, see our Military Allowances: Changes to Local Overseas Allowance section.

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11   Leaving Germany

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 unit or NSE welfare.

Information for EU nationals

See our F&C EU Nationals page

Visa requirements for non-EEA citizens

Please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth section for all information.

Getting UK job-ready

Start looking for work – register with Forces Families Jobs.

Other admin

For further advice on what you need to do on posting, see Global Support Organisation (Germany): Posted to the UK?

  • 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.
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12   Alternative sources of information

Alternative sources of information for Germany can be found either through the other Families Federations or the HIVE and iHIVE:

Families Federations:

Naval Families Federation
RAF Families Federation

HIVE

On behalf of the chain of command, the HIVE delivers information, arrival packs and deployment packs to support the military community on a variety of topics. In some locations support is available face-to-face through a network of HIVE Information Centres and HIVE information support officers, as well as online through social media https://www.facebook.com/ArmyHIVE and www.twitter.com/ArmyHIVEinfo and the local HIVE blog at sennelagerhivegermany.blogspot.com

iHIVE

The tri-Service International HIVE (iHIVE) provides location-specific guides and information available to download from the iHIVE blog at internationalhive.blogspot.com

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