You are leaving! Posted, rebased, moving, uprooting; whatever way you describe it, your time in Germany is over. You may be dancing a jig or you may be passing the tissues, but do have a quick read of this; it might just save you some time, hassle and even a few pounds. The AFF Germany team has some handy advice…

Service Families Accommodation (SFA)

  • Inform your Housing and Community Support Office (HCSO) of your posting within 14 days of receipt of an assignment order
  • Apply for SFA to the HASC in the UK as soon as possible
  • Apply for removals – don’t worry if you don’t have an actual address yet
  • Book your move-out through your HCSO, including a pre move-out visit six weeks before
  • For adaptations to SFA, visit gov.uk or email additionalneeds@aff.org.uk

Healthcare

  • Inform the medical and dental centre as soon as you know you’re posted
  • Fill out a moving form so that your notes will be ready for your new doctor/dentist
  • If you require ongoing treatment or an operation, speak to your doctor at the earliest opportunity
  • For a copy of your medical notes, apply in writing to the med centre
  • Your soldier must complete AGAI 108 if a family member has a disability or additional need to ensure wherever possible, employment will be found that meets your family’s needs and enables your soldier’s career to develop
  • Ensure each family member has their EHIC card with them. Visit www.nhs.uk for details.

Money

  • Cancel kindergeld before you leave. Send the cancellation letter through the German post and ask for the “signed for” service as proof
  • In the UK you will have to pay for a TV Licence (www.tvlicensing.co.uk), car tax, MOT and gas and electricity
  • You can close your German bank account when you wish and either transfer your funds into a UK account or withdraw your cash (if you have any!)

Telephones 

  • Give your phone service provider appropriate notice in writing of termination or you could be charged for the unused months before your contract ends. Examples of cancellation letters in English and German are available at www.bfgnet.de/hive-europe

Post

  • A Redirection service is available at the German Post Office (Nachsendeservice). Visit www.deutschepost.de

Cars

  • De-register your car from Germany and register it with DVLA at your local VLO (Vehicle Licensing Office)
  • Download e-registration forms from www.bfgnet.de
  • To sell your vehicle locally, ask the VLO for advice

Passports and visas

UK citizens: 

  • Allow plenty of time to apply or renew your passport before your move date. This will be paid for at public expense
  • You should have more than six months left on your passport on date of travel

Non UK citizens:

  • If you don’t hold a British passport and are a citizen of a non-EEA country, you will require a valid UK entry visa. This will be paid for at public expense, but meeting the criteria will be your responsibility
  • Ensure your SOFA status is cancelled by your soldier’s unit before leaving BFG as this will be checked at the airport
  • Contact your Unit Welfare Office at the earliest opportunity if you don’t have a valid visa, passport or SOFA status
  • For more info, visit the AFF’s F&C pages at www.aff.org.uk

Pets

  • Don’t forget to include details of your pets when you apply for housing! Some SFA and SSFA are pet free-zones
  • Ensure vaccinations are up-to-date
  • Your pet must be micro-chipped and been vaccinated against rabies – if you have a puppy, this cannot be done before 12 weeks of age. 21 days must then elapse before your pet can travel
  • Between 1 and 5 days before you travel, tapeworm treatment (dogs only) must be administered by a vet. Accurately record it in the pet passport
  • Use an approved route to enter the UK. Don’t forget to book your pet in with your chosen method of travel.
  • Go to gov.uk or call the helpline +44 (0)870 241 1710

Employment

  • If you are employed by the Labour Support Unit (LSU), give them eight weeks’  written notice
  • If you have worked for the LSU for two years or more,  you may be eligible for a gratuity if you provide the full notice
  • If you are posted at short notice, discuss this with them as soon as you can. Further details are at www.bfgnet.de
  • When you leave, the LSU will issue you with a BFG form 126. This confirms your period of employment and reason for leaving. This document may prove useful when claiming benefits in the UK
  • To claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, register as a jobseeker at your new Jobcentre within a few days of arrival and submit your claim.

For further advice on moving back to the UK, contact AFF Germany on 05221 29 79 644, email germany@aff.org.uk or visit your local HIVE.

About The Author

Related Posts

Leave a Reply