Move for family reasons (to Germans) - apply for a residence permit

You can obtain a residence permit for family reunification in order to establish or continue a marital partnership or registered partnership with a German.

You can obtain a residence permit for family reunification as the spouse or registered partner of a German national if you come from a country outside the EU or the EEA.

The prerequisite is that you want to establish or continue a family partnership in Germany. As a rule, a family relationship exists if you live together with your reference person in a shared apartment. If you do not live together in a shared flat, your spouse or partner should maintain regular contact with each other which goes beyond mere visits.

A further precondition for the granting of a residence permit is that your spouse or life partner has his or her habitual place of residence in Germany. A person has his or her habitual residence where he or she has the centre of his or her life and does not only stay temporarily.

As a rule, you should be able to communicate in German in everyday life with a simple knowledge of the language - that is, in a straightforward manner - for example, to ask for directions, go shopping and introduce yourself. Proof of language skills is not required in every case. You can obtain more detailed information on this from the relevant Aliens' Registration Office.

Under certain circumstances, the Aliens' Registration Office can oblige you to take part in an integration course when issuing your residence permit. This will then be noted on your residence permit.

The residence permit is a temporary residence title and is issued for at least one year.

  • Valid passport or passport replacement
  • Current biometric photo
  • Visa, as far as this was necessary for the entry
  • Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
  • If applicable, proof of basic German language skills (A1 certificate)
  • Current certificate of residence
  • Current certificate of registration of the reference person in Germany

In individual cases, the Aliens Department may request further documents

  • Online procedure possible in some cases
  • Written form required
  • Personal appearance required

Preconditions

  • You have a recognized and valid passport or passport replacement and - if required for entry - an appropriate visa.
  • You wish to establish or continue a marital partnership or civil partnership with a German.
  • You and your spouse or partner have reached the age of 18.
  • You can prove simple language skills, if required.
  • Your German spouse or partner has his or her habitual residence in Germany.
  • There is no interest in deportation against you.

Your residence does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Hints

Note on registered civil partnerships:

A civil partnership registered in Germany is recognised. Whether a civil partnership registered abroad has legal effect must be examined by the Aliens' Registration Office in each individual case.

Section 28 (1) sentence 1 no. 1 AufenthG

Related Links

  • ยง 28 Absatz 1 Nummer 1 Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG)

The procedure is as follows:

  • Depending on the foreigners authority and your concerns, it may be possible to apply via the internet. Find out whether your foreigners authority offers electronic application for the residence permit.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment with the Aliens' Registration Office. During the appointment, your application will be accepted and your supporting documents will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment). Your fingerprints will be taken for the production of an electronic residence permit (eAT).
  • In the case of an electronic application, the Aliens' Registration Office will contact you after receipt of your online application to arrange an appointment at the Aliens' Registration Office if necessary. During the appointment, your documents will be checked (bring them with you to the appointment) and your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the eAT.
  • If your application is granted, the Aliens' Registration Office will arrange for the eAT to be produced.
  • After about six to eight weeks you can collect the eAT from the Aliens' Registration Office.
  • The eAT must always be collected in person.

Responsible for the content
Ministry of the Interior and for Local Affairs of the State of Brandenburg

Last update or date of publication
05.04.2022