German Work Permit For Spouse

Germany is one of the most migrant friendly country. Don’t get confused that German people are racist or xenophobic. It’s not true; they are welcoming to everyone as refugees. If your husband or wife is also from outside Germany, then you have every reason to file application for a German work permit for spouse to live and work in Germany.Germany has one of the most liberal work law in Europe. As such, anyone who is a citizen of a European country is free to work in Germany without any restriction. This is not the case with third-country nationals (non-EU member countries). These people will require a specific residence permit if they want to live and work in Germany.

Given the kind of complexities involved in the same and the fact that there is always a chance for rejection, it is important that you hire a well-versed lawyer who can ensure that your application gets accepted. He or she will file in accordance with all regulations regarding such applications and this way the chances of rejection can be reduced significantly.

German Work Permit For Spouse

If your spouse is a citizen of a member state of the EU or the EEA

Even if you are a third-country national, if your spouse is a citizen of a member state of the EU or EEA, they are entitled to freedom of movement and can therefore live and work in Germany without restrictions. All they need to enter the country is a national identity card.

If your spouse is a citizen of a non-EU country

Even if your partner is a national of a non-EU country, you can look forward to living together in Germany. For your spouse to be able to join you, the following requirements are to be met:

  • Right of residence: As an employee, you have a temporary or permanent residence permit or an EU Blue Card for Germany.
  • Accommodation: You have rented or bought accommodation in Germany which is large enough for your family. You can find tips on finding accommodation in our section on Living in Germany
  • Health insurance and money: You have sufficient health insurance cover and funds to be able to care for your family.
  • Legal age: Your spouse is of legal age, i.e. at least 18 years old.
  • Basic knowledge of German: As a general rule, spouses coming to join their partners must have basic knowledge of German. This is to ensure that they can communicate in German from the moment they arrive in Germany. For example, they should be able to ask the way, go shopping or introduce themselves in German. 

However, there are a number of exceptions. Your spouse does not require any knowledge of German to obtain a visa or a residence permit if the following applies:

  • You are a holder of an EU Blue Card, an ICT card or a Mobile ICT card.
  • You are in possession of a residence permit according to Section 18c (3), Section 18d, Section 18f or Section 21 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG).
  • You are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United States of America or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (British citizens and certain holders of other British citizenship from the Channel Islands and Gibraltar or the Isle of Man).

Nevertheless, your family will probably feel most at home in Germany if they all speak a little German. We explain how this can be achieved in our section on Learning German.

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Registered partners also can take advantage of Germany’s family reunification scheme if they meet the necessary requirements (Section 27 (2) Residence Act (AufenthG)).

How to bring your family to Germany

If your spouse requires a visa to enter Germany, they must apply for it at the German Embassy or a German consulate in their country. Our world map lists the advisory and contact services of all German embassies and consulates.

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Family members of third-country nationals with an existing right of residence in Germany are allowed to enter the country for temporary family visits. You can find out which regulations apply to family visits from the responsible German embassy or from the local Foreigners’ Authority in Germany.

To apply for a visa for your spouse to join you, you will generally need to provide your passport and a wedding certificate or proof of a registered or civil partnership. Ask the local German Embassy what other documents need to be submitted. 

Since processing your application may take some time, we suggest you find out what documentation is necessary for the application well in advance and submit your application in good time.

Once your family has arrived in Germany, you must register them at the Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt). You must apply to the local immigration authority for a residence permit within three months. To do so, you must present your passports, birth and marriage certificates, pay slips or tax statements, proof that you are renting or bought accommodation and any other documents that may be needed, depending on the specific situation of your family.

Once right of residence has been granted, your newly arrived spouse is immediately entitled to take up any kind of employment in Germany.

Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals

If you are the spouse or another relative of a person who holds German or another EU nationality, whether you need a visa or not depends on your citizenship and a few other smaller factors.

Does a Spouse / Relative of EU / German Nationals need a visa to Germany?

If you are a spouse/relative of an EU / German national, you will not need a visa to Germany in the following cases:

*Starting January 1, 2021, all travelers from visa-exempt countries will need to apply for an ETIAS prior to their trip towards Germany or any other Schengen country, to enter the territory for short stays.

You will need a visa to Germany, despite being the spouse/relative of an EU / German national, if you belong to one of the following categories:

  • You hold the passport of a country that has not established a visa-free agreement with the Schengen states
  • You hold the passport of a country that has established a visa-free agreement with the Schengen states, but you have previously been rejected from entering Germany visa-free.

How to apply for a Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals?

The exact steps to apply for a Germany Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals are as following:

  • Figure out where and when to apply
  • Collect the required documents
  • Book a visa interview appointment
  • Attend the interview
  • Pay the visa fee

Where to apply for a Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals?

You will have to file your application for Germany Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals at one of the following in your country of residence:

  • German embassy
  • German consulate
  • Visa centre to which Germany has outsourced visa submission

In some countries, the German embassy, consulates and visa centres have separate jurisdictions. Therefore, you should pay attention under the jurisdiction of which authority the area where you live falls.

When to apply for a Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals?

According to the German visa policy, the period within which you can file an application for Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals, is regulated as following:

  • The earliest you can file an application: at most six months prior to your planned trip to Germany.
  • The latest you can file your application: at least two weeks ahead of your trip.
  • The most recommended time to file your application: three weeks before your intended date of entering Germany.

Germany Visa Requirements for Spouses / Relative of EU / German Nationals

All applicants for a Visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German nationals will have to submit the following documents as part of their visa applications:

  • Visa Application Form. Signed and dated by you, which form you can download here.
  • Valid Passport. Your passport must comply with the Germany Visa passport requirements.
  • Biometric passport-sized photograph. Make sure your photo is taken according to the Germany visa photo criteria.
  • Photocopies of your passport personal data pages.
  • Photocopies of previous Schengen visas (if applicable).
  • Schengen travel visa insurance. Valid in all Schengen states for your whole period of stay.
  • Flight Itinerary. A roundtrip ticket, which you can get through visa consultation services like this one or find one online.
  • Proof of Financial Means. Documents through which you prove you have enough money to support yourself throughout your intended stay in Germany.
  • Proof of Accommodation. Documents which show where you will be staying during this period, i.e. hotel booking or invitation letter.
  • Copy of the German / EU citizen’s passport.
  • Proof of relationship with the German / EU national. This could be a:
    • Marriage certificate.
    • Birth Certificate
  • Documents required for minors, which must be either in English or German:
    • Birth certificate
    • Proof of adoption, if applicable
    • Custody decree if parents are divorced
    • Death certificate of the parent, if one of the parents has passed away
    • Letter of consent from parents
    • Passport copies of both parents/ legal guardian

Germany Visa Fees for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals

Spouses and minor children of EU or German nationals do not need to pay any fee for a Germany visa. However, adult children and other relatives of EU / German nationals will have to pay visa fees as set by German authorities.

Visa Processing Time

The German embassies anywhere in the world take about ten days to process a visa application. The quickest an embassy can process an application for visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals is 5 working days.

In specific cases, the embassy may take at least 14 working days. In particular, the processing time may be extended if the embassy asks you for extra documents.

Visa Validity

The German embassy is the only one that decides on the validity of a visa for Spouse / Relatives of EU / German Nationals. When you get your visa sticker on your passport, make sure to check the following tags:

  • From: which contains the very first date you can enter into Germany.
  • To: which contains the very last date you have to leave Germany.
  • Duration of stay: which is the number of days you can remain in Schengen within the two dates given.
  • The number of entries: which is the number of times you are permitted to enter and leave Germany.

Based on these factors, you will be able to figure out for how long you are permitted to remain in Schengen.

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