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I am a German citizen currently living in India and have an Indian wife. We would like to go and live in Germany. Do I need to be first in Germany and have some income to sponsor my wife, or can she apply for visa without me having any income source there? I am very sure that me and my wife can get a job within few months, but we would like to be separated as less a possible.
asked Nov 29, 2020 in Legal advice by wefugee2011

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Dear @wefugee2011,

Welcome to the Wefugees Community and thank you for your question.

Section 28 of the German Residence Act gives the legal foundation for a residence permit as spouse of a German citizen. Here it says:


(1) The temporary residence permit is to be granted to the foreign

1. spouse of a German,

2. minor, unmarried child of a German,

3. parent of a minor, unmarried German for the purpose of care and custody

if the German’s habitual residence is in the federal territory. In derogation from section 5 (1) no. 1 it is to be granted in the cases covered by sentence 1 nos. 2 and 3. In derogation from section 5 (1), no. 1, it is to be granted as a general rule in the cases covered by sentence 1 no. 1. In derogation from section 5 (1) no. 1, the temporary residence permit may be granted to the parent of a minor, unmarried German who does not possess the right of care and custody of said child, if the family unit already exists in the federal territory. Section 30 (1) sentence 1 nos. 1 and 2, sentence 3 and subsection (2) sentence 1 applies accordingly in the cases covered by sentence 1 no. 1.

(2) As a rule, the foreigner is to be granted a permanent settlement permit if he or she has possessed a temporary residence permit for three years, the family unit with the German continues to exist in the federal territory, there is no public interest in expelling the foreigner and the foreigner has a sufficient command of the German language. Section 9 (2) sentences 2 to 5 applies accordingly. In all other cases, the temporary residence permit is extended as long as the family unit continues to exist.

(3) Sections 31 and 34 apply subject to the proviso that the foreigner’s residence title is replaced by the habitual residence of the German in the federal territory. The temporary residence permit granted to a parent of a minor, unmarried German for the purpose of care and custody is to be extended also after the child has come of age as long as the child lives with the foreigner in a family household and is in education or training which leads to a recognised school, vocational or higher education qualification.

(4) Section 36 applies accordingly to other dependants.

(5) (repealed)


Usually, the German authorities will not ask for a secured livelihood/independence from social benefits, if a German citizen wants to reunite with her/his foreign spouse, as this type of family reunification is privileged. In specific cases, for instance if the couple lived abroad together for a long time already and they could continue their life abroad very well, the government may require the social - better to say financial security. I am pretty sure that authorites will not issue a visa and subsequent residence permit for your spouse if you are not living in Germany (please see this document for further explanations also).

Would you agree dear @mbeon-Rukundo or @mbeon-fardeen?

In any case, please don't hesitate to get back to us with any further questions.

All the best,


answered Dec 7, 2020 by Meike
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