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Visa to join a spouse

The photo depicts a father, daughter, son and mother sitting on the floor in front of a sofa.

Family of four, © Colourbox

26.09.2023 - Artikel

If you want to move long-term to your spouse who lives in Germany, you may need a visa.

Who needs a visa?

For stays longer than 90 days, foreign citizens generally require a visa. Excluded from this are EU citizens (European Union), citizens of the EEA (European Economic Area) and citizens of Switzerland.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States of America and the UK and Northern Ireland can also obtain a required residence permit after entering Germany from the immigration authorities responsible in Germany. You do not need to apply for a visa before moving to Germany.

For all other nationals residing in France, the following applies: visas for a long-term stay must be obtained from the Embassy in Paris before entering the country.

How do I get an appointment to submit an application?

Please use the following link for a free registration on the waiting list for an appointment to apply for a visa at the Embassy in Paris: Visa section Appointment waiting list

If minor children will accompany you to Germany, please state this when registering in the appointment waiting list. You need a separate appointment and the application has to be submitted in person.

Please expect a waiting time of at least 20 weeks for an appointment. You will receive an e-mail with the date and time approximately two weeks before your appointment.

We kindly ask you to refrain from making written or telephone appointment requests. Due to the high volume of applications and limited processing capacities, it is not possible to shorten the waiting time.

Which documents are required?

Please bring the following documents:

  • two complete printouts of your electronic visa application: VIDEX

    Using VIEDX speeds up the processing time at the embassy. If you cannot fill in the application online, you can download the application form here:
    Form: Application for a national visa (German/English)
    Form: Application for a national visa (German/French)
    Form: Application for a national visa (German/Arabic)
  • two current biometric passport photos: photo template
  • valid passport, original and two copies (the passport must have at least two blank pages)
  • valid French residence permit and two copies
  • marriage certificate in original and two copies

    All certificates must be submitted in German, English or French. Certificates in other languages must be translated into German, English or French by a sworn translator. Please use the link for further information regarding a sworn translator: Translations (in French language)

    Certificates on multilingual forms do not have to be translated if they contain a German language version.

    Documents from many countries require legalization or an apostille for use in Germany. This should already be available when the application is submitted, but can also be submitted later in the course of the application process. Please use the following link for further information: Foreign public documents for use in Germany
  • proof of German language skills (a minimum level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference is required) in original and two copies

    Please visit the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees for detailed information, including in which cases proof German language skills is not required: Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

    The language certificate must be based on a standardized language test according to the standards of the “Association of Language Testers in Europe” (ALTE). This currently applies to the following language certificates:
    “Start Deutsch 1” from the Goethe-Institut or telc GmbH, “Grundstufe Deutsch 1” from the Austrian Language Diploma (ÖSD), “TestDaF” from the TestDaF-Institut e. V
  • two copies of your spouse's valid identity document

  • two copies of your spouse’s valid German residence permit (not applicable if you are joining a German or EU/EEA citizen)
  • two copies of your spouse’s employment contract in Germany (not applicable if you are joining a German citizen)
  • two copies of your spouse’s last three payslips in Germany (not applicable if you are joining German or EU/EEA citizen)
  • two copies of your spouse’s rental agreement in Germany (not applicable if you are joining German or EU/EEA citizen)
  • two copies of your spouse's registration certificate (“Meldebescheinigung”) in Germany
  • proof of health insurance valid in Germany (must be presented at the latest when picking up the visa)

Please note that your application can only be processed if your documents are complete on the day you submit your application. Occasionally, the submission of additional documents may be required.

Fees and costs

The processing fee for a national visa is 75,00 euros in most cases and 37,50 euros for minors. The fee is to be paid in cash when the application is submitted to the embassy. Please bring the correct amount with you.

The processing fee cannot be reimbursed, this applies also when the visa has been denied.

The application is free of charge for family reunification with a German or EU/EEA citizen.

Important : Apart from the processing fee mentioned above payable to the embassy in Paris, there are no further fees (e.g. for arranging an appointment). Only expenses for e.g. returning your passport containing the visa by post must be borne by the applicant.

Visa label
Visa label© colourbox

How long does it take to obtain a visa?

The embassy in Paris will decide on your application after the responsible immigration authorities in Germany have been involved. On average, the processing time from the day the application was submitted is three months. Please refrain from making inquiries regarding the developement during this time.

We will contact you once your visa application has been processed. If your application is approved, we will email you when and how to submit your passport to obtain the visa.

If your visa application has been rejected, there can be various reasons. We will tell you these reasons in a rejection notice. You can submit a new application with complete, meaningful and verifiable documents at any time.

For how long is the visa valid?

If you are granted a visa to enter Germany, it will be valid for three months from the date of being issued.

Your visa will contain your full name, passport number and photo. The number of days of stay and the period of validity of the visa are specified, i.e. the time you have until you receive your domestic residence permit.

Please remember to register with the residents' registration office immediately after entering Germany. The visa allows you to travel within the Schengen area.

Privacy policy

Information in accordance with Art. 13 and 14 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation) on data protection in the visa application process can be found here: Information on data protection (in German language)

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