Residence permit for family reasons Issued for the family reunification of a foreign spouse to a German

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

As the spouse or registered partner of a German, you can obtain a residence permit for family reunification 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. A family cohabitation usually exists if you live with your caregiver in a shared apartment. If there is a lack of cohabitation in a common apartment, spouses or life partners should maintain regular contact with each other that goes beyond mere visits.

Another prerequisite for issuing a residence permit is that your spouse or partner has his or her habitual residence in Germany. A person has his habitual residence where he has his center of life and does not only stay temporarily.

As a rule, you should be able to communicate with simple language skills i.e. in a simple way in everyday life on German, for example, ask for directions, shop and introduce yourself. Proof of language skills is not to be provided in every case. Further information can be obtained from the competent immigration authority.

Under certain circumstances, the Foreigners' Registration Office may oblige you to participate in an integration course when issuing the residence permit. This will then be noted on your residence permit.

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

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

In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may request further documents

  • Online procedure occasionally possible
  • Written form required
  • Personal appearance required


  • You have a recognized and valid passport or passport substitute and, if necessary for entry - a dedicated visa.
  • You want to establish or continue the 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 necessary.
  • Your German spouse or partner is habitually resident in Germany.
  • There is no interest in expulsion against you.

Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.


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 Foreigners' Registration Office on a case-by-case basis.

§ 28 Abs. 1 S. 1 Nr. 1 AufenthG

Related Links

  • § 28 paragraph 1 number 1 Of the Residence Act

The procedure is as follows:

  • Depending on the foreigners' registration office and concerns, it may be possible to apply via the Internet. Find out whether your immigration office offers the electronic application for a residence permit.
  • If the application is only possible in person, make an appointment with the Foreigners' Registration Office. During the appointment, your application will be accepted and your proofs 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 event of an electronic application, the Foreigners' Registration Office will contact you after receipt of your online application in order to make an appointment at the Foreigners' Registration Office if necessary. During the appointment, your certificates will be checked (bring them to the appointment) and your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the eAT.
  • If your application is granted, the Foreigners' Registration Office will arrange for the eAT to be produced.
  • After about six to eight weeks, you can pick up the eAT at the Foreigners' Registration Office.
  • The eAT must always be collected in person.

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

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