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Spouses joining EU citizens

You are an EU citizen, have settled in Germany and now want to bring your spouse over? Read here what you need to bear in mind when it comes to family reunification

You can look forward to spending your time in Germany with your partner and children. Although there are some conditions attached to family reunification, as an international skilled worker, you are sure to fulfil them.

Are you an EU citizen living and working in Germany and would you like to bring your spouse to Germany? As an EU citizen, you are entitled to freedom of movement, and your spouse and children can live and work in Germany. Whether your family members need a special temporary residence permit depends on their nationality.

Spouses who are EU (European Union) or EEA (European Economic Area) citizens
If your spouse is an EU or EEA national, they can join you in Germany very easily and live and work here without restrictions. You do not need to apply for a special residence permit.

Spouses who are third-country nationals
If you are a citizen of a member state of the EU or EEA, but your spouse is not, they must apply for a visa for spouses joining their partners. If your spouse holds a residence title for another EU state, they do not need a visa to enter Germany (Section 2 (4) of the freedom of movement Act/EU [FreizügG/EU]).

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Citizens of Andorra, Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Republic of South Korea, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America can obtain a temporary residence permit after entering the country.

How your spouse can join you in Germany

If your spouse requires a visa to enter Germany, they must apply for it at the German Embassy or a German Consulate in their country. Our world map lists the contact details of all German embassies and consulates.

To apply for a visa for your spouse to join you, you will generally need to provide your passport and a wedding certificate or proof of a registered or civil partnership. Ask the German Embassy responsible what other documents need to be submitted.

Since processing your application may take some time, we recommend that you find out what documentation is necessary for the application well in advance and submit your application in good time. Spouses arriving in Germany must register their new address at the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents' Registration Office) and then apply in person for a temporary residence permit for spouses joining their partners. Once a residence title has been granted, your spouse is immediately entitled to take up any kind of employment in Germany.

Information on the web

  1. Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) Family portal
  2. Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) Important information about family reunification
  3. Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) ESF federal program "Stark im Beruf" supports mothers with a migration background in getting a job

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

You can find out more about the various contact options by clicking on one of the icons in the bar below.

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