Spouses joining non-EU citizens

Citizens from countries outside the EU / EEA can move to Germany together with their family members. Which provisions apply depends on the nationality of the family members who are joining them.

The subsequent partner is
a citizen of a member state of the EU, EEA

If you come from a country outside the EU / EEA and your spouse is a citizen of an EU or EEA country, he or she enjoys the right of free movement. This means that the family member who is joining them can live and work in Germany without restrictions. He or she only needs an identity card to enter the country.

The subsequent partner is a citizen of a country outside the EU

Even if your life partner is from a Third country comes, you can look forward to a future together in Germany. The following requirements must be met for spouses to join:

  • Residence permit: As an employee, you have a residence permit or permanent residence permit, or “blue card EU” for Germany.
  • Living space: You have successfully rented an apartment in Germany that offers enough space for your family. You can find tips on looking for accommodation in the ” Living in Germany / Housing ” section.
  • Health Insurance & Money: You have adequate health insurance and financial resources to support your family.
  • Legal Age: Your life partner is of legal age, i.e. at least 18 years old.
  • Basic knowledge of German: Your life partner must generally have basic knowledge of German. This is to ensure that he or she can communicate in German right from the start in Germany. With a basic knowledge of German, for example, you should be able to ask for directions, shop, and introduce yourself.

However, there are a number of exceptions. Your life partner does not need any knowledge of German for a visa or one residence permit for spousal reunification if:

  • You are the holder of an EU Blue Card, an ICT card, or a mobile ICT card.
  • You own one yourself residence permit according to Section 18c, Paragraph 3, Section 18d, Section 18f, or Section 21 of the Residence Act.
  • You are a citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, 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 other British citizens of the Channel Islands and Gibraltar or the Isle of) Man) are.

Your family will certainly feel most at home in Germany when everyone speaks some German. We explain how this can be done in the ” Learn German ” section.


Life partners can make use of the possibility of family reunification if they meet the necessary requirements ( Section 27 subs. 2 AufenthG ).

How to get your spouse to Germany

If your spouse needs a visa to enter Germany, he or she must apply for the visa at the German embassy or consulate. A list of all representations of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad can be found on the world map “Local contacts”.

In order to apply for a visa for the purpose of family reunification, the passport and proof of marriage or partnership must generally be provided. Ask the local German embassy which other documents must be presented. Since processing can take some time, please familiarize yourself with the documents required for the application in good time and submit the application in good time.

When your family has arrived in Germany, report your family members to Registration office. At the responsible foreigners Authority the residence permit must be applied for within three months. To do this, you need to put together the passports, birth and marriage certificates, salary or tax certificates as well as proof of rent and possibly other documents, depending on your specific family situation.

With the issue of the residence title, the partner who has moved in immediately receives the unrestricted right to pursue gainful employment in Germany.

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