I am an Indian citizen and I was charged with criminal harassment in Canada. I am looking to marry a girl who is a German citizen. Can I enter Germany after marriage and get German citizenship?

  • What was the crime? What was the punishment? Do you speak German? Do you plan to live in Germany?
    – Ex Patriot
    Nov 30, 2017 at 14:26
  • "charged with criminal harassment": were you convicted?
    – phoog
    Jan 4, 2019 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


NO, and yes.

Germany is a member of the Schengen Area, whose law is relatively lax. Questions about criminal convictions are not asked when applying for a Schengen visitor/business visas, and border agent and landing cards (there aren't any) don't ask this either.

If any officials or forms ask you if you have a criminal history, you still have to answer truthfully, but in general if its not more than 3 years of imprisonment, or crimes involving alien smuggling or drug offences that resulted in more than 2 years of imprisonment, then generally they will not refuse you entry or visa on that ground.

Germany has specific rules that state anyone convicted of an offence relating to public order with a sentence of more than 3 years, a drug offence with a sentence of more than 2 years, and any offence related to alien smuggling is deportable (a "must deport"). Like the UK they are more concerned with offences committed in their country, rather than outside of the EU.

If you lie on any visa application or question by officials, that is a "can deport".

So, in other words, you can ENTER on a vistor visa.
However, if you want to marry a German girl, and stay in Germany, you'll need a residence permit. And a residence permit, you won't get with a recent (or serious) criminal history. So while you can enter, entering makes no sense.

Also, it could be difficult finding work with a criminal record.

  • 1
    Could you link to, or at least identify, the source of the quoted material? Also, it might be worth pointing out that the couple could move to any other EU country with minimal trouble unless the criminal history were very serious indeed.
    – phoog
    Jan 4, 2019 at 19:45
  • 5
    Furthermore, a bit of searching does not turn up support for your claim that one cannot get a residence permit with a recent or serious criminal history, for example at berlin.de/labo/willkommen-in-berlin/dienstleistungen/….
    – phoog
    Jan 4, 2019 at 19:58

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