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Permanent Residence with German Spouse


All persons who wish to stay in Germany for more than 90 days are required to obtain a residence permit.

Visa Needed?

All persons who wish to stay in Germany for more than 90 days are required to obtain a residence permit.

Table of countries whose citizens require/do not require visas to enter Germany

German Language Tests for Certain Visa Applicants

In order to facilitate integration, visa applicants from Non-EU countries, who intend to move to Germany as a spouse of a German citizen, must prove basic German skills when applying for a visa.

German Tests for Certain Visa Applicants PDF / 135 KB

In accordance with the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 04.09.2012 (BVerwG 10 C 12.12) a foreign spouse of a German citizen does not have to be proficient in the German language before entering Germany if he/she has no reasonable possibility to learn German abroad or if such efforts have not succeeded within one year. It is crucial that in this case the reasons for the impossibility to reasonably learn German abroad or the efforts undertaken within a year are depicted in a plausible and comprehensible way. In this case knowledge of the German language must be acquired after entering Germany in order to obtain a residence permit.

How to apply?

Citizens of Japan, Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, the United States of America as well as EU citizens may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.

Citizens of other countries are required to apply and obtain a residence permit prior to entry (an option also open to Japanese citizens) at the German Embassy or the German Consulate.

You have to submit your application in person. Upon submission of all required documents the application will be forwarded to the Aliens' Authority (Ausländeramt) responsible for your intended place of residence in Germany. Applications take about 1-3 months to be processed. After the application has been approved by the Aliens' Authority the Embassy and the Consulate will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa. The Aliens' Authority requires all residence permit holders to register upon their first arrival. A final residence permit will be granted in German after arrival.

Required Documents

one Web-version application form ( application form for Schengen Visa ) and two fully completed application forms( for long term visa) and required declaration in duplicate
two passport photographs (strict requirements, see details)
valid national passport and two copies
additional requirement for non-Japanese citizens: original of valid Japanese residence card and one copy
original or certified copy of marriage certificate incl. apostille and translation into German
original or certified copy of passport of spouse holding either a German or EU passport or a residence permit for Germany
German language skills confirmation
Visa is free of charge (if spouse is German or EU-citizen)

Please note: In individual cases, you may be required to provide additional documents.

Please Note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.