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I (British Citizen) and my Japanese long-term girlfriend (27 years old) live in Germany since July 2017. I use freedom to move EU rights, she uses a working holiday visa (valid 1 year). We both are currently employed. She is pregnant (5 weeks) and we are worried this may affect our right to live in the EU - Germany or UK - together.

We want to raise the child/have a family and get married in the future. We are concerned. Will the pregnancy void her right to live in Germany?

Will we both be able to live in Germany permanently? Or can we move to the UK in the future to be close to my family?

We would like to live in Germany but do not want to lose the right to move to the UK either before/after our child is born. Or if this is the case, we would like to return to the UK as we both speak English and my family is there, and will be much needed help when we have a child.

We intend to get married. In which country would be best to do this - Germany, UK or Japan?

We both have cohabited in Germany and registered our residence at the Bürgeramt here in Berlin since August 2017. We also lived together in the UK for a period of 2 months prior to our move to Germany from May 2017 to July 2017. Then Miku lived with me on a visitor visa (2 months) before our move to Germany, where we wanted to start our life together.

Miku has lived in the UK on a student visa (studying English) prior to this for 6 months from October 2016 to February 2017, before leaving to work in Japan (February 2017 - May 2017). We met and became a couple in October 2016 when she was studying in the UK.

We need advice. We want to know what our best option to continue living together is, especially since Brexit may affect my rights as a UK citizen in Europe. We want to raise our child together. Is it possible for us to have our child in Germany or the UK? How do we get married? Which country would be best for us to live in permanently - the UK or Germany?

If we were to return to the UK as an EEA family, would our rights be revoked after Brexit is final? If so, would it be better for us to apply for permanent residence in Germany as we want to settle and plan our life together?

So far I understand that I, as a EU resident in Germany, would be able to return to the UK with Miku if we got married, lived in Germany, and had been in employment and lived together as residents of Germany for more than 3 months - longer if possible. We are currently trying to integrate into the German society by working, paying taxes and insurance, trying to learn the language and also trying to enjoy our new life in the capital, Berlin. We would love to stay here forever, but are scared we could be forced to leave separately. With this in mind, we are considering whether it would be better to return to the UK to raise our future child and seek permanent residence in England, UK instead.

Summary:

Non-married couple - 1 UK citizen, 1 Japanese citizen seeking permanent residence together either in Germany or UK. If we do, is it possible for the non-EU family member to work as well?

Have an unborn child on the way (5 weeks pregnant).

We currently live together in Germany since July 2017. We have our residence registered with the authorities as we live at the same address together in Berlin since August 2017.

We both have work in Germany since August 2017. Previously lived in the UK, me as a UK citizen all my life, Miku as a Japanese citizen on a student visa, October 2016 - February 2017 and again on a visitor visa from May 2017 to July 2017).

We want to live together permanently with the right to raise our future child. We are considering either staying in Germany or returning to the UK. We want the right to marry and the right to have our child become a citizen of the country in which we live.

  • That's a lot of questions, maybe be ask about the location of the wedding separately? – Gala Sep 15 '17 at 13:58
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    Not a full answer and perhaps not acceptable for you but it seems that marrying ASAP can only makes things easier. – Gala Sep 15 '17 at 13:59
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    Why would her pregnancy void her right to live in Germany? If anything, it's evidence supporting her claim of derivative freedom of movement rights under directive 2004/38/EC, and disproving any suspicion of your eventual marriage as a marriage of convenience. – phoog Sep 15 '17 at 20:37
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    The looming "Brexit" is basically making any answer something between an educated guess and reading tea leaves. Sorry :( – nvoigt Jan 5 '18 at 12:32
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Marriage in Germany is no problem, just a bit inconvenient: One of you must be a resident (for three months, I think. Doesn't hurt if both are residents), and in your case the marriage must be legal according to German law, according to UK law, and according to Japanese law. You can just go to your local registry office and ask for advice, they are quite well educated about all those things. It's their job after all and frankly you make their job less boring. You'll need translations of important documents to German, you'll have to publish your intent to get married in the UK for two or four weeks (don't know the exact numbers), but a UK consulate in Germany counts as "UK". And whatever Japanese law requires you to do, which I have no idea of - a German registry office will know. The marriage will be absolutely valid in UK. I would bet it will be valid in Japan, but I don't know for sure. Being married and having a child can only improve your situation.

When you have a child, it is of advantage to the child if the child is born in the UK. If born in the UK, the child will be a "British citizen not by descent"; if born outside the UK, the child will be a "British citizen by descent". The difference is that if citizen "not by descent" the child's children will automatically be UK citizens, if "by descent" then the child's children will not automatically be UK citizens. (Basically, your descendents have British citizenship unless two generations are born outside the UK). It seems that the child cannot get German citizenship by birth; one parent would have to be resident in Germany for eight years for that to happen. It is possible to become German citizen if staying long enough in the country.

Your big problem is Brexit. Depending on how much British negotiators mess up, you might lose your right to live in the EU, and your wife might lose the right to live in the UK. There was a report about a week or two ago about a non-EU wife of a British husband with a common British child who was removed from the country (which many commenters found quite disgusting).

On the other hand, if those negotiations have a good result, you may be fine living either in the UK or in Germany. Nobody can say at the moment what will happen. The EU very much wants to keep the rights of free movement in the EU and UK intact. I can only wish you good luck. And hope the EU wins in the Brexit negotiations, and not the UK.

  • WRT Brexit, my best guess is that the OP should marry and remain resident in Germany. That should lead to them being able to continue living in Germany. If it doesn't, they will have to try and move to UK (if the OP earns enough to bring a Japanese wife in) - which would be no worse than if they tried to move to the uK now. – Martin Bonner Oct 30 '18 at 9:51

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