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Visa for the Spouse of a German

A spouse of a German, a minor child of a German and the parents of a minor German have the claim of a family reunion visa and a following residence permit. You can also get a visa, if you get married to a German immediately after your entry (marriage visa).
The Spouse of a German can obtain a residence permit on the following conditions:
  • The marriage is valid: A marriage is valid, if both partners are married to each other and can prove this by a marriage certificate. It is also possible obtaining a visa for the purpose of contracting a marriage. Therefore the registry office in Germany has to confirm that the marriage in Germany will take place as soon as possible after the entry. For this the needed documents for marriage must be presented to the registry office in Germany.
  • Martial cohabitation is planned: Martial cohabitation needs to be the plan for the life in Germany. The visa center and the foreigners’ authority check if it is a matter of a marriage of convenience or even a forced marriage. Often the applicants for the visa and the spouse/fiancé are questioned simultaneously but separately, to prove, to what extent the fiancés/spouses know each other and if they do in fact have a relationship.
  • You can prove A1 German-language skills: You only receive a visa for family reunion, if you can prove basic German-language skills (level A1). You need to prove that you have passed a language test at Goethe-Institut, at Telc, at ÖSD or at TestDaF.
  • Assured livelihood: If you are married to a German, it should be possible to get a visa and a residence permit, even if you are dependent on social welfare/assistance (Arbeitslosengeld / Hartz IV). But the foreigners’ authority might agree more likely, if you and your spouse are able to earn your living on your own. Make sure to contact a foreigners’ authority in Germany, before you apply for your visa, to make sure you meet all the prerequisites, in order for them to agree with the visa application without any problems. Note: Since 2007 a sufficient income is allowed to be requested, if the German spouse can also be expected to live in your home-country. Your income you will earn in Germany might also be considered, so it might be useful to be able to prove a sufficient double income in the process of applying for a visa.
  • Valid passport: For issuing a visa or later on the residence permit in Germany, you will need a passport that is valid for at least one more year. However, applying for a passport that is valid for more than just one year will be more convenient.
  • No entry ban: If you have been to Germany or another Schengen state before (e.g. as a refugee) and your stay ended with an expulsion or a deportation, an entry ban has been imposed. Did you leave the country voluntarily, there should usually be no problem, but nevertheless an entry ban might be imposed due to not meeting the deadline for the departure. Refugees from the so called "safe countries of origin" (West Balkans) are also imposed an entry ban (since 08/2015), if their application for asylum is rejected as "obviously unfounded (offensichtlich unbegründet). In each case you need to consider carefully, if there are existing entry bans and how you can annul them before you apply for your visa.
  • No reason for expulsion: There should not be any reasons for being expelled from the country (e.g. compromising public security because of a crime)
  • Compliance with the visa procedure: If you enter the country with a wrong visa or a tourist visa / "green passport", which allow you a stay of three months in Germany; you will not receive your residence permit. Even if all other conditions are complied.

It is therefore recommended that our counseling centers get in contact with the relevant foreigners authority, before you apply for a visa.