Germany Spouse Visa

Usually, a Spouse visa, a type of Family Reunification visa, and a National “D” type visa are needed to join your partner in Germany. This requirement is waived for British citizens.

In some cases, travellers from the UK will still need a Spouse visa. If you need help with your application, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Total Law at 0333 305 9375 or visit us online to find out about our services.

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    What is the German Family Reunion Visa for Spouses?

    If a third-nationality spouse wants to join their partner in Germany, they will often require a Spouse visa. This means you can come to the country for 90 days but will require a residence permit before this period elapses to be able to remain in the country.

    This route is available to almost all relationships. It includes same-sex and mixed-sex married couples. For mixed-sex couples only, it also includes civil unions and registered partnerships. Please note that polyamorous relationships are currently always excluded from the Family Reunification visa at the time of writing in December 2023. Only one partner can join you via a Spouse visa.

    To learn more about the Spouse visa and how it applies to those travelling to Germany from the UK, please read the article below.

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    Visa Free Travel from the UK

    A Spouse visa is usually not required for British citizens due to visa-free agreements that exist between the EU, EEA, and the UK. This remains despite the UK no longer being a member state of the European Union.

    Visa-free travel also applies to travellers coming from the UK who are a citizen of the European Union, EEA, or one of the nations listed below that also have visa-free travel arrangements with the EU:

    • Andorra.
    • Australia.
    • Brazil.
    • Canada.
    • El Salvador.
    • Honduras.
    • Israel.
    • Japan.
    • New Zealand.
    • South Korea (Republic of Korea).
    • Monaco.
    • San Marino.
    • United States of America.

    However, if you are coming to Germany from the UK to join a partner in the country and are a third-country citizen with no such arrangement with the EU, you will need to get a Spouse visa. In most cases, you won’t be able to apply for a visa from a German embassy or mission in the UK. You will need to return to your home country to apply for a visa for Germany.

    Residence Permits for Joining a German Spouses


    Regardless of whether you have travelled to Germany on a Spouse visa or have come from a visa-free country like the EU, you will only have the right to remain in Germany for up to 90 days unless you are an EU citizen.

    To remain in Germany, you must first register your new residence within two weeks of moving in. This is known as “Anmeldung”. You must also get a residence permit, which will allow you to remain in the country for an extended period of time.

    To get a residence permit, you will need to follow the process described below, which usually takes two weeks:

    1. Complete your “Anmeldung” address registration within two weeks of coming to Germany. This should be the same as your spouse’s address.
    2. Open a bank account in Germany and put money in it. You will often need to show German bank statements to prove this has been done.
    3. Get health insurance that covers you 30,000 euros for healthcare and covers potential repatriation expenses. This must be valid throughout your time in Germany and must apply to the whole country.
    4. Get the application forms from your local immigration office.
    5. Book an application appointment at the local immigration office.
    6. Go to the local immigration office to complete your appointment. You will need to answer questions about your application in an interview and present your documentation.

    While two weeks is the standard amount of time you will need to wait for your application to be returned to you, it may take substantially longer if the immigration office is suffering from a backlog or there are issues with your application. Completing your application properly should reduce the processing time.

    Eligibility Criteria for a German Residence Permit to Join a German Spouse

    Even if you are coming from a visa-free country like the UK, you will still need to fit all of the standard eligibility criteria. These are mostly the same as the criteria for a Family Reunification visa, so most people with non-visa-free citizenship have few problems accessing a residence permit. However, UK citizens will not have previously had their eligibility tested, so they will need to be thorough in checking they will qualify before they attempt to move to Germany.

    The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • A valid passport.
    • A history of being a law-abiding person in Germany or the European Union and no criminal record.
    • German language capabilities of B1 (intermediate) or above according to the CEFR.
    • The ability to support yourself or have your spouse support you.
    • You have a fixed rented or bought address in Germany with your partner.

    Should you fail to fit with any of these eligibility criteria, you will be unlikely to successfully get a residence permit. You must make sure any issues have been fixed before you come to Germany, as a rejected permit could result in you being sent back to the UK or your home country.

    For help obtaining a Germany spouse visa, speak with our team today. Contact Us

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      Making Your Spouse Visa Application

      As stated previously, some UK residents will need a Spouse visa to come to Germany. This includes those who are UK residents but have a different nationality that doesn’t allow for visa-free travel into Germany. In some cases, you will need to apply from within your home country rather than the UK.

      The application follows the standard process for a “National” visa, as Family Reunification is a “D” class. This standard process is outlined below:

      1. Pick up a document checklist from a German Embassy or Mission. In the UK, this is located at 23 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PZ. The document checklist will outline the documents you require for your application.
      2. Complete the application forms. These can be downloaded online and printed to sign or picked up from a German embassy or mission.
      3. Arrange an application appointment and attend it online. You will need to pay the application fee, submit your documents, and answer questions during a short interview.

      Make sure to revise your application before you attend the interview so that you can answer questions about your partner, reasons for coming to Germany, and your application.

      Required Documentation for Spouse Visa

      As with any visa application, you must provide all required documentation to show that you fit the eligibility criteria, which are detailed further below:

      • Valid passports for you and your spouse. These must be no older than ten years, be valid throughout your planned stay in Germany, and have two free pages for the visa to be put in.
      • Passport-style photographs of the applicant that fit EU countries’ standards and are no older than 90 days.
      • A fully completed application form. This must be printed off and signed.
      • A rental agreement or proof of purchase that shows that your spouse has a fixed address in Germany for you to move into.
      • A certificate showing your relationship with your partner, such as a marriage certificate.
      • A Meldebescheinigung. This is proof that your spouse has registered their address in Germany.
      • A certificate of completion for a German language course.

      Any documents you supply must not be forged or falsified. Any failures in this area will result in your application being refused. It may also stand against you when you apply for other visas for EU countries or EEA member states.

      Part of the legitimisation process is a signed declaration of accuracy of information. This confirms that you have told the truth and submitted genuine documents during your application.

      Spouse Visa Eligibility Criteria


      To be eligible to join your German spouse via a Family Reunion visa, you must have the correct relationship with them.

      If you are in a mixed-sex relationship, you must be married. However, you can have a civil partnership if you are joining a same-sex German spouse.

      For your visa application to be successful, you will also need to be over 18 and have a basic understanding of German by achieving the A1 (beginner) standard on the CEFR.

      You will also need to show that your spouse is willing to have you join them in Germany. You will normally need to provide an invitation letter to show this.

      Eligibility Criteria for the Sponsoring Spouse

      The German spouse will also need to fit several eligibility criteria for your visa application to be considered. This eligibility criteria includes the following:

      • They are legally residing in Germany with a German passport, EEA or European Union nationality, or third-country nationals with a valid German residence permit.
      • Your partner has achieved a decent standard of the German language.
      • They have the ability to financially support you and your dependents coming to Germany.
      • Their fixed accommodation has enough space for you and any other dependents who apply for a visa.

      We can make your Germany spouse visa application process hassle-free. Contact Us

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        For people with a valid passport from the UK and a spouse currently living in Germany, it is easy to start a new life in Germany. However, if you are not a national of a visa-free country, you will need to get a German visa to come to the country. There is a high rate of German visa rejections, so you will need to make sure you complete a near-perfect application to have your “D” visa application accepted.

        Working with Total Law can help you to see success across the application process. We can help you gather the required documents. Then, we can help you prepare for your interview and submit your application. After entering Germany, we provide further assistance for your resident permit.

        For further help with your application, please contact us at 0333 305 9375, or you can visit us online.

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                  Getting a visa to join your German spouse will usually cost 75 euros as of January 2024, when this article was written. The standard fee for a National visa applies to getting a German Spouse visa. This was 75 euros when this article was written in December 2023.

                  This visa to join your German spouse will usually take around 21 days processing time. However, there is a lot of variation and you may have to wait multiple months to join your German spouse. This happens if there are issues with your application or you have applied to a particularly busy German Embassy.

                  Meanwhile, citizens of visa-free countries like the UK will not need to pay an application fee or wait for processing to join their German spouse.

                  Meeting all of the criteria to sponsor you and your family members does not mean that your German spouse will be able to sponsor you. Below are listed common criteria that will harm your application:

                  • They are in Germany under a deportation ban.
                  • They are a recognised human trafficking victim.
                  • A Land or Federal authority ruling has granted their current residence title.
                  • Their residence title is due to humanitarian grounds or international law.

                  The characteristics listed below will always lead to a rejection, so it is sensible to investigate alternative German visas that will allow you to enter the country:

                  • They had a deportation order but are currently legally residing in Germany due to delays or if the order has been suspended.
                  • They are one of the family members of a “well-integrated juvenile.” This only applies if it is the reason for their residence title.
                  • They are in Germany, having been a victim of clandestine employment, and have not made successful visa applications to give them the right to remain in Germany.

                  Yes, a Spouse visa is a common pathway to becoming a German citizen. However, none of the visa categories will give you citizenship in Germany automatically. Instead, you will need to be consistent with the criteria listed below.

                  • You have proof of legal residency in Germany for eight years or seven if you have undergone an integration course. You must have been a law-abiding resident throughout this time.
                  • You have been successful in a citizenship test.
                  • You will be able to financially support yourself and any dependents once you become a German citizen. Your spouse can also provide this support.