A few days ago, my boyfriend, who is a German citizen, and I were married in Denmark. Ours is a same-sex union, and we don't know what awaits us in Germany.

I am a Yemeni citizen (a third-world country that is at war and executes gays). I am living in Turkey under a one-year short term tourist residency permit; I am not able to work with that permit.

I applied for a Schengen visa through the German Embassy and got a visa valid for one month. Using this Schengen visa, I was able to enter Denmark and get married. However, we can't register this marriage in Germany. To do that, I would have to exit Germany and apply for a family reunion visa.

Is it true that the German authorities will ask me to exit the country and apply for a family reunion visa, even though I'm gay, Yemeni and my residency in Turkey will expire in August?

If I do that, I doubt they will ever grant me a visa again.

What if I applied for asylum; would I still be able to live with my husband or I have to go to a refugee center?


3 Answers 3


This answer assumes that your husband has never lived in another EU country. If he has, then you may be able to settle under the EU freedom-of-movement regime, about which there is more information below.

Is it true that the German authorities will ask me to exit the country and apply for a family reunion visa, even though I'm gay, Yemeni and my residency in Turkey will expire in August?

I do not know much about the German settlement rules for non-EU family members of German citizens, so I encourage anyone who does to add another answer with that information. So I cannot answer this part of your question, but I will assume that the answer is "yes."

This leaves two options, one of which you've asked about:

1. Apply for asylum

I don't know much about this, but your claim has to be based on a fear of persecution in your country of citizenship. It appears that you have such a fear, so it seems like a legitimate option for you to consider. If you decide to pursue it, you should seek help from a lawyer who has experience with asylum claims. The last thing you want is for the claim to be rejected because of some technical deficiency in your application.

2. Settle under EU freedom of movement

You and your husband can go anywhere in the EU together, because, as his spouse, you are a "person enjoying freedom of movement under Union law" when you travel with him or travel to join him somewhere. This is controlled by directive 2004/38/EC; there are also a summary of the legislation and a public information page describing the situation.

The only place where you can't do this is Germany, because German citizens and their family fall under German national law rather than EU law. There ought to be an exception if your husband has exercised his freedom of movement by living elsewhere in the EU, based on the Surinder Singh case, but I cannot find any evidence on German government websites that Germany has implemented procedures to comply with this ruling.

You could use the second option as a fallback if your first option fails. You might want to talk to a lawyer to make sure you will be able to avoid deportation to Yemen so you can get over the German border into another EU country.

In theory, once you've lived elsewhere in the EU for six months or more, you should be able to move back to Germany under EU freedom of movement, but if Germany has indeed failed to take the Surinder Singh ruling into account, you may have trouble with this. I have asked a new question about this.

  • Thanks a lot for your fast reply, I appreciate it. Actually, my husband has never lived abroad, which means I can not settle under the EU freedom-of-movement regime in Germany. Apparently, I have 2 options which is applying for asylum or moving out of Germany.
    – Fadi
    Mar 17, 2017 at 7:20
  • It is rather bizarre that as the partner of a German citizen, you can join him anywhere in the EU except Germany. The same is true for other countries, for example married to a UK citizen you could join him in Germany or anywhere else in the EU, but not in the UK.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 19, 2017 at 18:28
  • @gnasher729 it is indeed odd and perhaps counterintuitive. Some countries, including Italy, choose to treat family of their own citizens according to EU rules, but others obviously do not.
    – phoog
    Mar 20, 2017 at 0:05

My answer probably comes too late, but still might contain useful info for people in similar situations.

From my understanding, registering your marriage in Germany is not a problem at all. After the question was asked, the same-sex marriage became completely legal in Germany.

The problem is to apply for a residence permit (which starts with application for family reunion visa) while being inside Germany. See details in another answer on Expatriates.

Personally, I think that after the new law about same-sex marriage was introduced, if one exits a Germany and applies to the embassy, one has a very good chances that they will grant a visa.

If one wants to be sure, it makes sense to just visit a lawyer in Germany before leaving.


A marriage outside of Germany will, as such, be considered valid.
But it will only become legaly effective after a Post-certification (§ 34 PStG).

This effects:

  • German citizens, who live permanently outside of Germany
    • and must bebdone at their local Consulate
  • Persons with residence in Germany
    • and must be done at their local Standesamt (marriage registry office)

A marriage between foreigners, that has been performed at a Consulate inside Germany, is considered to be a marriage outside of Germany.

The Post-certification is not required, but if not done the marital status (Familienstand) of the persons will not change.

The documentation needed will be similar in nature to what is needed to get married in Germany.

Quotes from the Heiraten in Dänemark:

Ehen, die in Dänemark formwirksam geschlossen werden, sind in Deutschland rechtskräftig und werden problemlos anerkannt.
Die Heirat hat keinen Einfluss auf die Staatsangehörigkeit bzw. das Aufenthaltsrecht eines oder beider Ehepartner. Darum muss sich gegebenenfalls gesondert gekümmert werden.

Marriages that are legally effective in Denmark are legally binding in Germany and are easily recognized.
Marriage has no influence on nationality or the right of residence of one or both spouses. This may have to be dealt with separately.

Both statements are true, but until the Post-certification process has been compleated

  • the prerequirement condition for a spouse visa has not been fullfilled

Unless the visitor visa was issued for the main purpose of getting married in Germany, you will have to leave when the visitor visa expires.

Had you gotten married in Germany (i.e. the legal status had changed) then leaving to apply for a family reunion visa may have not been needed.

Eheschließung im Ausland.
Eine im Ausland geschlossene Ehe wird in Deutschland im Regelfall dann anerkannt, wenn zum Zeitpunkt der Eheschließung die rechtlichen Eheschließungsvoraussetzungen (z.B. Ledigkeit, Mindestalter) für beide Partner nach dem Eheschließungsrecht ihres jeweiligen Heimatstaates (Staatsangehörigkeit) vorlagen und wenn das Eheschließungsrecht am Ort der Eheschließung oder das Heimatrecht beider Ehegatten hinsichtlich der Form der Eheschließung gewahrt wurden. ...
Für die Beurteilung der Gültigkeit einer im Ausland geschlossenen Ehe gibt es in Deutschland kein vorgeschriebenes Verfahren und auch keine dafür alleine zuständige Behörde. Die Frage der Wirksamkeit für den deutschen Rechtsbereich ist stets nur eine Vorfrage im Zusammenhang mit der Entscheidung über eine andere Amtshandlung (z.B. Namenserklärung, Änderung der Steuerklasse u.v.m.). Diese Vorfrage muss von der jeweils für eine vorzunehmende Amtshandlung zuständigen Behörde in eigener Verantwortung entschieden werden.

Marriage abroad..
A marriage contracted abroad is generally recognized in Germany if, at the time of the marriage, the legal marriage requirements (e.g. unmarried status, minimum age) existed for both partners according to the marriage law of their respective home country (nationality) and if the right to marry at the place of marriage or that Both spouses' home rights with regard to the form of marriage were respected. , In Germany, there is no prescribed procedure for assessing the validity of a marriage abroad and there is no single authority responsible for it. The question of effectiveness for the German legal area is always only a preliminary question in connection with the decision on another official act (e.g. declaration of name, change of tax class and much more). This preliminary question must be decided by the authority responsible for an official act to be undertaken on its own responsibility.

  • Note: this includes eligibility for a Spouse Visa

Für die Nachbeurkundung einer Auslandseheschließung im deutschen Eheregister gilt folgendes: Sie ist gesetzlich nicht verpflichtend vorgeschrieben.
Zuständig ist das Standesamt des aktuellen bzw. des letzten Inlandswohnsitzes. Bestand nie ein deutscher Wohnsitz ist nur das Standesamt I in Berlin zuständig. Grundsätzlich ist die Beurkundung möglich für
1.) Eheschließungen außerhalb der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, wenn mindestens ein Ehegatte deutscher Staatsanghöriger ist oder aufgrund von Sonderregelungen nach deutschem Recht behandelt wird (anerkannte Asylberechtigte, Staatenlose u.ä. mit Wohnsitz in Deutschland) und
2.) Konsulatseheschließungen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zwischen Ehegatten ohne deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit. Die erforderlichen Antragsunterlagen richten sich stets nach den persönlichen Verhältnissen der betroffenen Ehegatten.

The following applies to the re-certification of a foreign marriage in the German marriage register: It is not required by law.
The registry office of the current or of the last domestic residence. If there was never a German place of residence, only the registry office I in Berlin is responsible. In principle, certification is possible for.
1.) Marriages outside the Federal Republic of Germany, if at least one spouse is a German national or is treated on the basis of special regulations under German law (recognized asylum seekers, stateless persons, etc. residing in Germany) and
2.) Consulate resolutions in the Federal Republic of Germany between spouses without German citizenship.
The required application documents are always based on the personal circumstances of the spouses concerned.

Documents that could be needed:

  1. registrierte ausländische Heiratsurkunde/religiöser Ehevertrag mit Legalisation der für den Heiratsort zuständigen deutschen Botschaft bzw. Apostille der zuständigen Behörde des Eheschließungsstaates und vollständige deutscher Übersetzung,
  2. Geburtsurkunden beider Ehegatten (mit Legalisation bzw. Apostille, falls im Ausland geboren) mit relativ aktuellem Registerstand, also Ausstellungsdatum nicht viel länger als 6 Monate zurückliegend, und vollständige deutsche Übersetzungen,.
  3. Einbürgerungsurkunde/n (falls nicht seit Geburt deutsche Staatsangehörige), ggf. Spätaussiedlerausweis/e,
  4. ausführliche Meldebescheinigungen beider Ehegatten vom Bürgeramt (können auf Wunsch auch im St.Amt gebührenpflichtig gefertigt werden, wenn Ihre Meldeeinträge keinen Sperrvermerk enthalten),
  5. ggf. Eheurkunde/n und Nachweis/e der Eheauflösung aller vorhandener Vorehen beider Ehegatten,
  6. ggf. Geburtsurkunden gemeinsamer Kinder,
  7. ggf. Bescheinigung/en über früher erfolgte Namensänderungen, die sich nicht aus dem Datenstand der vorgelegten Geburtsurkunden ergeben (öffentlich-rechtliche Namensänderung, Angleichungserklärung, Adoption, Wiederannahmeerklärung nach Eheauflösung u.ä.).

Ob ggf. noch zusätzliche Nachweise vorgelegt werden müssen, ergibt sich stets nur aus dem Einzelfall und kann daher erst nach Einreichung des Antrags mit Unterlagen abschließend Beurteilt werden

3rd registered foreign marriage certificate / religious marriage contract with legalization of the German embassy responsible for the place of marriage or apostille of the competent authority of the marriage state and complete German translation,
4th Birth certificates of both spouses (with legalization or apostille, if born abroad) with a relatively up-to-date register status, i.e. date of issue not more than 6 months ago, and complete German translations.
5th Naturalization certificate (if not a German citizen since birth), possibly a late repatriate ID,
6th detailed registration certificates of both spouses from the civil registry office (can also be made for a fee in the St.Amt if your registration entries do not contain a blocking notice),
7th if applicable, marriage certificate (s) and proof (s) of the dissolution of all existing arrangements of both spouses,
8th possibly birth certificates of common children,
9th If applicable, certificate (s) of previous name changes that do not result from the data status of the birth certificates submitted (public law name change, declaration of approximation, adoption, declaration of acceptance after marriage dissolution, etc.)
      Whether additional evidence may have to be submitted is always only determined on a case-by-case basis and can therefore only be finally assessed after submitting the application with documents

Da viele Behörden (z.B. Finanzämter bei Änderung der Steuerklassen) auf die Daten der Betroffenen im Melderegister zugreifen, müssen die Ehegatten zunächst Ihren Familienstand und ggf. Ihre direkt bei der Eheschließung wirksam erfolgte Namensänderung bei einem der Berliner Bürgerämter aktualisieren lassen. Dort vorzulegen ist die registrierte ausländische Heiratsurkunde/der registrierte Ehevertrag mit Legalisation /Apostille und vollständigen deutschen Übersetzungen. Sollte im Eheschließungsstaat ein sog. "Internationaler Auszug aus dem Heiratseintrag" (nach dem CIEC-Abkommen) ausgestellt worden sein, so wäre dieser auch ohne Legalisation/Apostille und ohne Übersetzung ausreichend, da er die persönlichen Daten in mehreren Sprachen enthält. Beim Bürgeramt können Personalausweis/Reisepass mit dem geänderten Familiennamen bestellt werden, wenn die Namensführung in der Ehe zweifelsfrei geklärt ist.

Since many authorities (e.g. tax offices when changing the tax classes) access the data of those affected in the registration register, the spouses must first have their marital status and, if applicable, their name change effective at the time of the marriage updated at one of the Berlin citizens' offices. The registered foreign marriage certificate / the registered marriage contract with legalization / apostille and complete German translations must be presented there. If a so-called "international extract from the marriage entry" (according to the CIEC agreement) had been issued in the marriage state, this would also be sufficient without legalization / apostille and without translation, since it contains the personal data in several languages. An identity card / passport with the changed surname can be ordered from the citizens' office if the name in the marriage has been clarified beyond any doubt.

§ 34 (PStG) Eheschließungen im Ausland oder vor ermächtigten Personen im Inland.
(1) Hat ein Deutscher im Ausland die Ehe geschlossen, so kann die Eheschließung auf Antrag im Eheregister beurkundet werden; für den Besitz der deutschen Staatsangehörigkeit ist der Zeitpunkt der Antragstellung maßgebend. Die §§ 3 bis 7, 9, 10, 15 und 16 gelten entsprechend. Gleiches gilt für Staatenlose, heimatlose Ausländer und ausländische Flüchtlinge im Sinne des Abkommens über die Rechtsstellung der Flüchtlinge vom 28. Juli 1951 (BGBl. 1953 II S. 559) mit gewöhnlichem Aufenthalt im Inland. Antragsberechtigt sind die Ehegatten, sind beide verstorben, deren Eltern und Kinder.
(2) Die Beurkundung der Eheschließung nach Absatz 1 erfolgt auch dann, wenn die Ehe im Inland zwischen Eheschließenden, von denen keiner Deutscher ist, vor einer von der Regierung des Staates, dem einer der Eheschließenden angehört, ordnungsgemäß ermächtigten Person in der nach dem Recht dieses Staates vorgeschriebenen Form geschlossen worden ist.
(3) Personen, die eine Erklärung nach § 94 des Bundesvertriebenengesetzes abgegeben haben, sind nur mit den nach dieser Erklärung geführten Vornamen und Familiennamen einzutragen; dies gilt entsprechend für Vertriebene und Spätaussiedler, deren Name nach den Vorschiften des Gesetzes über die Änderung von Familiennamen und Vornamen geändert worden ist.
(4) Zuständig für die Beurkundung ist das Standesamt, in dessen Zuständigkeitsbereich die antragsberechtigte Person ihren Wohnsitz hat oder zuletzt hatte oder ihren gewöhnlichen Aufenthalt hat. Ergibt sich danach keine Zuständigkeit, so beurkundet das Standesamt I in Berlin die Eheschließung.
(5) Das Standesamt I in Berlin führt ein Verzeichnis der nach den Absätzen 1 und 2 beurkundeten Eheschließungen.

Section 34 (PStG) marriages abroad or before authorized persons in Germany.
(1) If a German married abroad, the marriage can be certified in the marriage register on request; the date of application is decisive for possession of German citizenship. Sections 3 to 7, 9, 10, 15 and 16 apply accordingly. The same applies to stateless persons, homeless foreigners and foreign refugees within the meaning of the Agreement on the Legal Status of Refugees of July 28, 1951 (BGBl. 1953 II p. 559) with habitual residence in Germany. The spouses are eligible to apply; both their parents and children have died.
(2) The marriage is also certified under paragraph 1 if domestic marriage between spouses, of whom none is German, before one by the government of the state , to which one of the spouses belongs, has been duly authorized person in the form prescribed by the law of that state.
(3) Persons who have submitted a declaration in accordance with Section 94 of the Federal Expellees Act are only to be entered with the first names and surnames listed after this declaration; this applies accordingly to displaced persons and late repatriates whose name has been changed in accordance with the provisions of the law on changing surnames and first names.
(4) The registry office is responsible for the certification, in whose area of ​​responsibility the person entitled to apply has his place of residence or was last or has his habitual residence. If there is no jurisdiction afterwards, the registry office I in Berlin certifies the marriage.
(5) The registry office I in Berlin maintains a list of marriages certified according to paragraphs 1 and 2.


  • "German citizens who live permanently in Germany can only get married in Germany": this is extremely Implausible. Can you provide some sort of evidence that it is in fact true?
    – phoog
    Jan 11, 2020 at 7:26
  • 1
    You seem to say that to have the paperwork to have a marriage legally recognised in Germany is more or less the same as that required to get married in Germany. That doesn't fit with my experience (German citizen, permanently resident in Germany, married in Denmark last summer - in large part because my wife is Russian and the paperwork to marry a non-EU citizen in Germany seemed prohibitive). Having my marriage registered and Familienstand updated required no documents other than the marriage certificate.
    – Chris H
    Jan 13, 2020 at 7:49
  • 1
    @MarkJohnson ok, now I've made the effort to filter through the ridiculous length of legal quotes you've included, it's clear where the error is. You're talking about the requirements for a marriage conducted outside Germany to be re-certified and recorded in the German marriage register. It is not reasonable to describe this as a requirement for the marriage to be "legally effective" in Germany, updating Familienstand does not require this to be carried out, and nor is it required before applying for a familiennachzug visa.
    – Chris H
    Jan 13, 2020 at 13:19
  • 1
    @MarkJohnson this process is, as far as I can tell, purely a matter of convenience (if new copies of marriage certificates are required for whatever purpose in future, they can be acquired from the German Standesamt where the re-certification was processed, rather than having to deal with whichever procedures are required at the wedding location and the hassle of international postage, potentially language issues, etc. involved in that)
    – Chris H
    Jan 13, 2020 at 13:21
  • 3
    @MarkJohnson no, the precondition stated is that you register your change of marital status at the Bürgeramt. This is not the same thing as re-certification, and does not require the vast majority of documents required for re-certification. In fact it's right in your own quotes: "Dort vorzulegen ist die registrierte ausländische Heiratsurkunde/der registrierte Ehevertrag mit Legalisation /Apostille und vollständigen deutschen Übersetzungen". That's the end of the list.
    – Chris H
    Jan 13, 2020 at 13:46

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