Husband or wife in Germany = right to join them?

No. Anyone wanting to join their spouse in Germany must first meet certain requirements.

The initial step is to request a family reunification visa. To obtain this, the couple must present proof that they have a valid marriage and plan to live together in Germany. Both spouses must have reached majority. Moreover, the couple must prove that it can support itself. This means it must be able to cover both partnersliving and health insurance costs without any state support. It must also show that the apartment in which the couple intends to live in Germany is large enough.

Spouses desiring to move to Germany must also meet several formal requirements. For example, he or she must present proof of identity. This may be a birth certificate showing that he or she is actually the person that he or she claims to be. They also require a passport or a recognised replacement passport. The spouse who wishes to join his or her partner in Germany needs to be able to communicate in simple German and must hold a language certificate documenting this.

These rules apply to couples in which neither partner has German or EU citizenship. If one partner is German, the requirements are less strict. The couple will then normally not need to present proof that it can meet its living costs, or that it has a sufficiently large apartment. If one of the partners is an EU citizen, then the regulations of the EU Freedom of Movement Act apply.

If the spouse who lives in Germany is a refugee and a beneficiary of protection, and if a final decision has already been taken on his or her case, then different family reunification conditions apply. These depend, among other things, on the individuals refugee status and on whether or not the application was filed in due time.

A general overview of information on family reunification for refugees is available at

Detailed information on family reunification for refugees is available at

The websites of the embassies and consulates of the Federal Republic of Germany also provide detailed information on visas and family reunification requirements.

Last updated: 21.03.2019 Published: 01.03.2019