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I am a US citizen living in the US. My spouse, who is a French (so EU) citizen, is currently living and working in Heidelberg, Germany.

I am currently visiting him in Germany, I plan to return to the US in a couple months, but the duration of my stay here will exceed 3 months.

It is unclear to us whether I have to actively do something like apply for a residence permit (here, for instance, it sounds like I don't need to do anything). I only did the Heidelberg city registration (anmeldung) at the Bürgeramt when I arrived, also, my spouse registered me on his German health insurance (TK).

Can I get in trouble if I don't apply for a residence permit? Like, when I fly out in a couple months, will a German officer at the airport tell me I exceeded my stay, and what would be the consequences?

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    You do not need a residence permit, but must apply for a residence card as a family member of an EU Citizen. This site states that this will be done automatically after registration. heidelberg.de - Lebenslagen Einreise und Aufenthaltstitel. If not, you should get some confirmation before leaving. Apr 4 at 20:02
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    Whatever the consequences, they should be fairly minor.
    – phoog
    Apr 5 at 19:16
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    @MarkJohnson that ought to be an answer, not a comment.
    – phoog
    Apr 5 at 19:21
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You do not need a residence permit, but must apply for a residence card as a family member of an EU Citizen. In some states this must be applied for separately, but for Baden-Württemberg it seems to be done automatically.

The Heidelberg city site states that this will be done automatically after registration.

Die Meldebehörde erhebt bei Ihnen die erforderlichen Daten über das Freizügigkeitsrecht und leitet diese an die Ausländerbehörde weiter.
Personen, die Familienangehörige von Unionsbürgerinnen und Unionsbürgern im Sinne des Freizügigkeitsgesetzes/EU sind (zum Beispiel Ehegatten, Lebenspartner und Kinder, die noch nicht 21 Jahre alt sind), erhalten automatisch eine Aufenthaltskarte.

The registration authority collects the necessary data from you about the right of free movement and forwards it to the immigration authority. People who are family members of Union citizens within the meaning of the Freedom of Movement Act / EU (e.g. spouses, life partners and children who are not yet 21 years old) automatically receive a residence card.

If not, you should get some confirmation before leaving that you have been registered but have not yet received the residence card.


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