Uniting with Your German Spouse or Partner

#familyvisa #residence

When you relocate to Germany to live with your German spouse or registered partner, you will need a residence permit to live lawfully there. Laws in Germany recognise civil unions between people of the same sex as well as same-sex marriages and registered partnerships.

German law does not recognise de facto unions or heterosexual civil partnerships, which is a crucial distinction to make. A national visa (D visa) is needed to stay longer than ninety days.

With this visa, you can enter Germany and apply at the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde) for a residence permit to live with or accompany a spouse already in the country.

Visa-Free Travel Privileges

After arriving in Germany, nationals of the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom can apply for a residence permit without obtaining a visa. 

However, you must register your new residence (Anmeldung) with the authorities (Meldebehörde) within two weeks of moving in, and your application for a residence permit must be submitted within the first ninety days of your stay.

A visa is needed for non-EU nationals to enter Germany. The procedure for applying for a D-visa includes filling out an online form, gathering the required paperwork, and making an appointment with the relevant German Mission.

A couple holding hands - Uniting with Your German Partner
Visa Requirements and Process

In addition to citizens of many other nations, British nationals are entitled to apply for a residence permit without a visa upon arrival in Germany. Given below are the steps you need to follow while applying for a national visa.

Registration and Documentation

Within two weeks of moving in with your spouse, you must register your new address (Anmeldung) with the authorities (Meldebehörde). In addition, you have to apply for your residency permit at the immigration office in your community during the first ninety days of your stay.

Applying for a D-Visa

Filling out an online form, gathering the required paperwork, and making an appointment at the relevant German Mission are the steps in the D-visa application process.

Original marriage/civil partnership certificates and documentation of A1 level competence in German are essential documents. Language certificates that are no more than a year old and from establishments that adhere to ALTE requirements are acceptable.

After Applying

The majority of visa applications are answered in three months or less. Successful applicants are granted a limited-validity entrance visa, which is akin to a UK entry clearance. 

It is required that you register with local authorities as soon as you arrive and apply for the Electronic Residence Permit (Ausländerbehörde) within two weeks of arriving. As soon as possible after arriving, get in touch with the immigration office.

Although it may seem difficult, joining your German spouse or partner can be a seamless adjustment if you are prepared and aware of the regulations. 


What happens if the marriage certificate or civil partnership is not in German?

A certified or sworn translator must translate any document written in a language other than German. Furthermore, documents issued outside of the EU or Germany might require legalisation or apostilling to be accepted in Germany.

How much time does it take to process an application for a visa?

Applications for visas are typically processed in three months. Processing dates, however, could differ based on unique situations and the immigration office's volume of work.


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