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Applying for an extension of the residence permit for a foreign spouse to join a German spouse
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
As the spouse or life partner of a German, you can have your residence permit issued for family reunification extended if you wish to continue living together with your partner in Germany.
For the extension of the residence permit, the same requirements must be met and the same documents must be submitted as when the residence permit was first issued.
If your residence permit is extended, it still entitles you to pursue gainful employment.
- Find out whether your foreigners authority allows you to apply online or has a special application form.
- If the application can only be submitted in person, make an appointment at the Aliens' Registration Office. In the case of online application, the Aliens' Registration Office will contact you after receiving your application to schedule an appointment.
- During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your documents, if possible in original, to the appointment).
- If your application is granted, your fingerprints will be taken for the production of the residence permit in the form of a new electronic residence permit (eATKarte).
- The Foreigners' Registration Office will order the production of the eAT card from the Bundesdruckerei. After completion, you will receive information and can pick up the eAT card at the responsible office. The eAT card must always be collected in person.
- If your application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.
The foreigners authority responsible for the applicant's place of residence is responsible for processing the application.
In principle, the same requirements must be met for the extension of the residence permit as for the initial issuance of the residence permit. That is:
- The period of validity of your current residence permit will expire in the near future.
- You would like to continue your stay with your German spouse or life partner in Germany.
- Your marriage or civil partnership with the German national continues.
Please note: The marriage no longer exists if it has been divorced, annulled or declared invalid by an unappealable decision of a competent body.
- Your German spouse or partner continues to have his or her habitual residence in Germany (i.e. his or her center of life is not only temporarily in Germany).
- You continue to live with your spouse or partner in a family partnership (e.g. shared apartment). If you do not live together in a common apartment, the assumption of a family life partnership can be considered if you maintain regular contact with each other that goes beyond mere visits.
- You can communicate at least in a simple way in German (level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). This can be waived if there are no German courses offered in your country of origin, if they are too expensive or if you cannot attend them for other reasons.
Please note: under certain circumstances, the Aliens' Registration Office may require you to attend an integration course. This will then be noted on your residence permit.
- There is no interest in deportation against you.
- Your stay does not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Which documents are required?
- Recognized and valid identity document (for example passport or passport substitute)
- Current biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
- In case of obligation to attend an integration course: proof that an integration course has been completed or that integration into social and community life has otherwise taken place. If an integration course has not yet been completed, the Aliens' Registration Office can refuse to extend the residence permit or can only extend it for one year until the course has been successfully completed or proof has been provided that integration into social life has otherwise taken place.
The documents and information must always be presented in German. In individual cases, the Aliens' Registration Office may require less or further proof.
If necessary, you will have to provide the Aliens' Registration Office with further proof of the continuity of your marriage or civil partnership (e.g. marriage certificate).
What are the fees?
- 96,00 Euro for a further stay of up to three months
- 93,00 Euro for a further stay of more than three months
Additional fees may be charged for the issuance of a new residence permit in the form of the electronic residence permit (eAT card), which can also be used as electronic proof of identity.
The timing as well as the form of fee collection and payment vary depending on the authority.
In certain cases, fee reductions or exemptions may be considered (for example, for persons entitled to asylum or recognized refugees). Lower fees may apply for Turkish nationals.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
Application deadline: 6 weeks to 8 weeks
Remark (for more information about the deadline):
The extension of the residence permit must be applied for before the validity of the current residence permit expires. At least six to eight weeks before the residence permit expires, the application should be received by the Aliens' Registration Office.
Period of validity:
In case of extension, the residence permit is issued for at least one year.
approx. 6 weeks to 8 weeks
Note for further information on processing time:
The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office.
The production of the electronic residence title by the Bundesdruckerei takes about 4 to 6 weeks.
- Appeal against the decision of the foreigners authority within one month of notification
- Action before the court named in the notice of appeal if the appeal is not granted
Applications / forms
Forms available: No
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: Yes
What else should I know?
- As a rule, family reunification with Germans does not require a guarantee of subsistence.
- A residence permit is excluded if the marriage or civil partnership is
- was forced or
- was only entered into for the purpose of joining the family in Germany.
- If multiple marriage is permitted in the country of origin, only the spouse or partner of the first marriage is entitled to join the family.
- After three years of holding a residence permit for the family reunification of a foreign spouse with a German, an unlimited residence title (settlement permit) can be applied for under simplified conditions (see information on "Settlement Permit Issuance for Reunited Family Members of Germans").
- The procedure at the Foreigners' Registration Office is usually conducted in German.
- All information provided to the Aliens' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief, so that the request can be processed without major delays.
- Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the procedure and be disadvantageous for the person concerned. In a serious case, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time vis-à-vis the Aliens Department may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, a prison sentence of up to three years, or expulsion from the Federal territory.
- Due to the complexity of the right of residence, this description is for information purposes only and is not legally binding.
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Ministry of the Interior and for Municipal Affairs of the State of Brandenburg
Professionally released on