Permanent Residence with German Spouse

Visa Needed?

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

German 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, must prove basic German skills when applying for a visa.

Where and how to apply?

Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, 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 US citizens) at the German Embassy in Washington, the Consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York or San Francisco.

Click here to find out where to submit your application and to learn about any specific application procedures. Due to local particularities handling and processing may vary slightly among the German missions involved. Except for rare instances, you have to submit your application in person. Upon submission of all required documents the application will be forwarded to the Aliens' Office (Ausländeramt) competent 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' Office the Consulate will issue a residence permit in the form of a visa. The Aliens' Office requires all residence permit holders to register upon their first arrival. A final residence permit will be granted in German after arrival.

Required Documents

- two fully completed application forms and required declaration in duplicate

- two passport photographs (strict requirements, see details)

- valid national passport and two copies of the data page (Please note these important regulations concerning your travel document/passport:
(a) its validity has to extend the duration of the visa you are applying for by at least 3 months
(b) it has to contain at least two blank pages;
(c) it must have been issued within the previous 10 years. If it has been issued before that, your passport can not be accepted. That even even applies in cases where the validity has been extended by the authorities of your home country.

- additional requirement for non-US citizens: original of valid US alien registration card or valid US resident visa (type A, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, O, R) and two copies thereof

- original or certified copy of marriage certificate incl. Apostille and two copies thereof

- original or certified copy of passport of spouse holding either a German or EU passport or a residence permit for Germany and two copies thereof

- your driver's license and/or utility bill in your name as proof of residence in the consular district where you plan to apply

- fee: visa is free of charge; $20,- for mailing the passport back once the visa is ready (payable by cash or money order only)

 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.

Permanent Residence

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Visa Appointment Requirements

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Some, not all, Missions require that you schedule an appointment in order to apply for a visa.
Please check on the website of the mission that is in charge of assisting you, if there are any appointment requirements. Please do not call the commercial appointment agencies listed on the website if you are not sure that you are required to schedule an appointment for a visa application, as you will be charged for the call.

Atlanta

Boston

Chicago

Houston

Los Angeles

Miami

New York

San Francisco

Washington

You do not know which mission can assist you? Please consult our Consulate Finder.

Consulate Finder

Visa FAQ

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Did you have a look at our FAQs? You might find the answer to your question right there.