In another post of mine, it was brought to my attention that my wife would have trouble entering Germany as a Canadian citizen in order to apply for a family reunion visa from within Germany.

The poster says this:

As a Canadian your wife is entitled to visit Germany without a visa, but she is limited to a 90 day visit. However she will probably be asked why she is there. If she says "I'm coming to live with my husband" then she will be refused admission, because she needs a visa to do that. If she says "to visit my husband" then she is going to have to provide good evidence that she will return to Canada before 90 days are up. There will be suspicion that she intends to stay longer than 90 days.

Why does it matter that she's coming to apply for family reunion? Our idea was to simply let the border police know our intentions properly and that's that. How can we handle this?

  • Can you link to the Travel question? The material you quote is incorrect.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 14:10
  • Are you also a Canadian citizen? Are you a dual citizen?
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 14:13
  • Were you and your wife already married when you moved to Germany?
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 14:16
  • I may be wrong, but I don't believe your wife needs to come to Germany to apply for a family reunion visa. She can come to Germany to visit you, and she can apply for a family reunion visa (when you have been in Germany long enough for her to qualify), but I don't believe those are connected. Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Your wife can enter visa-free with the intention of applying for a family reunion permit. See section 41 of the Aufenthaltsverordnung:

§ 41 Vergünstigung für Angehörige bestimmter Staaten

(1) Staatsangehörige von Australien, Israel, Japan, Kanada, der Republik Korea, von Neuseeland und der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika können auch für einen Aufenthalt, der kein Kurzaufenthalt ist, visumfrei in das Bundesgebiet einreisen und sich darin aufhalten. Ein erforderlicher Aufenthaltstitel kann im Bundesgebiet eingeholt werden.

(2) Dasselbe gilt für Staatsangehörige von Andorra, Brasilien, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco und San Marino, die keine Erwerbstätigkeit mit Ausnahme der in § 17 Abs. 2 genannten Tätigkeiten ausüben wollen.

(3) Ein erforderlicher Aufenthaltstitel ist innerhalb von 90 Tagen nach der Einreise zu beantragen. Die Antragsfrist endet vorzeitig, wenn der Ausländer ausgewiesen wird oder sein Aufenthalt nach § 12 Abs. 4 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes zeitlich beschränkt wird.

(4) Die Absätze 1 bis 3 gelten nicht, wenn eine ICT-Karte nach § 19b des Aufenthaltsgesetzes beantragt wird.

Machine translation:

§ 41 benefit for nationals of certain states

(1) Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America may also enter and stay in the Federal territory visa-free for a stay that is not a short stay. A required residence permit can be obtained in the Federal territory.

(2) The same applies to nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino, who do not wish to engage in gainful employment other than those referred to in § 17 (2).

(3) A required residence permit must be requested within 90 days of entry. The application period ends prematurely if the alien is expelled or his / her stay is limited in time according to § 12 Abs. 4 of the Residence Act.

(4) Paragraphs 1 to 3 shall not apply if an ICT card pursuant to Section 19b of the Residence Act is applied for.

However, it is not clear whether she could use her visa-free entry for this purpose before she's actually eligible to apply for the permit, so it's not entirely clear that she could enter 90 days before your two years have passed. This seems unlikely to be a problem, but you never know. One way to reduce the likelihood of such a problem might be to fly through another Schengen country so she gets stamped in by that country's immigration service.

In any event, she does have to apply before the 90 days are up, so it would be much better for her to enter somewhat later than 90 days before your two-year waiting period has elapsed. It would not be wise to count on being able to submit the application on the 90th day.


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