As per section 3.1.1 of this document, the living space requirement for the German family reunification visa of a third-country national is 12 sqm per person:

"Without prejudice to state provisions, sufficient living space is usually deemed to be available if 12 sqm of living space are available to each family member aged above six and 10 sqm of living space for each family member aged below six. Adequate availability of the facilities (kitchen, bathrooms, lavatories) must be ensured. A shortfall of about ten percent is acceptable" — (2.4.2. General Administrative Regulation to the Residence Act)."

However, it does not state whether shared flats are allowed or not. I wonder if my wife can meet the family reunification visa requirements if I live in a shared apartment in which my private room meets the 24 square meters criteria? If positive, I wonder what the rental contract requirements of such a situation should be? Should the contract state that two persons are going to live there?

To clarify, we're not going to be living in a shared flat. I just want to save on expenses until she joins me. But she needs to enclose a proof of suitable accommodation upon her visa application.

  • 1
    Does the rental contract mention the total size of the accommodation? Also, does it say how many people may live there? A letter from the landlord confirming the room is intended for two occupants may help.
    – user16259
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 13:37
  • @user16259 I'm not currently in the possession of a rental contract. I'm just asking to see if it's an option.
    – sepehr
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


Here's a more detailed answer to my own question based on the experience I had.

As soon as a few weeks after the spouse applies for a Family Reunification visa through the German embassy, the one living in Germany will receive a letter attached with 5-page forms in the mail from an Auslandärbehorde officer. The visa process won't go through unless you fill out the forms properly and send them back to the Officer's email provided or mail them to the Auslandärbehorde office for the specific agent your case is assigned with.

Letter Mentioning Required Documents

ABH Letter

So, you'll be asked for:

  1. Recent employment confirmation (form attached, needs to be filled by your employer to confirm that you're still employed with them)

  2. Last 3 salary slips.

  3. Rental contract with the indication of living area, or the attached form filled by your landlord. (Even my rental contract had the living area, they asked me to approach the landlord and fill the form anyway)

  4. Bank statements for 3 last rent payments.

  5. Community Home form

  6. Living expenses form

What concerns this specific question, is the 2nd and 4th items. Below are German samples. Suit yourself with Yandex OCR translator, if you need an English translation.

2. Landlord Confirmation

Landlord Confirmation

As you can see, the Landlord needs to confirm how many people are you living with as well.

4. Community Home Form

Community Home Form

So, you'll be explicitly asked if you're living in a community home and if so, with who. Per legal grounds, if you got the minimum living space area for you and your spouse, you should be fine. But the final decision is clearly theirs.

I personally decided not to live in a shared room, so I have no personal experience with this scenario myself.

  • What if I have a permanent job but I have less than 3 months working? It wouldn’t be possible for me to provide the 3 last salaries. Is that mandatory?
    – GabrielBB
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 13:51
  • @GabrielBB It's most probably the case that your employment contract would suffice in such cases. As soon as you get the letter from Auslandärbehorde, you'll be in direct contact with your case officer. Ask away.
    – sepehr
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 15:05
  • Thanks. This post has been very useful
    – GabrielBB
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 15:48

It's pretty clear from the wording that a shared flat is allowed. If you've got a 24m² room in a shared flat, you've got 12m² each plus the space in any shared living room.

I would definitely try and get the contract written for both of you, but the landlord may not want to do that until she has got a visa (catch-22!). If not, a declaration from the landlord that they will extend the contract to your wife as soon as she has got a visa should be good enough.


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