I am from an non-EU country residing in Germany with a blue card. I have been working in Germany for the past 5 years under a normal German employment contract.

I got married couple of months ago in my home country, and my wife became pregnant right after that.

My wife travelling to the capital to apply to join me as well as flying afterwards can cause issues for her health or/and the baby, according to the doctor.

Would that mean I will lose my right to take a parental leave? or in other words, does my wife have to be resident for me to take a parental leave?

1 Answer 1


There is an English-language brochure on parental leave (Elternzeit) and allowance (Elterngeld) published by Germany’s Department for Family Affairs, the Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (department names change with almost every new administration, this is the correct name as of 2022). The most important statement from the brochure:

Each parent is entitled to take parental leave, independently of the other parent

You meeting all conditions to take parental leave is sufficient for your claim. NB: Residence is not a requirement. You just need to have a job you want to temporarily leave. Yes, usually, expats having a job entails some permit to stay (Aufenthaltstitel), but this is not a requirement of parental leave itself.

Important: The employment contract must be governed by German law. Otherwise the protections against unlawful dismissal the Federal Parental Leave and Allowance Act provides is pointless, you know, if a German court could not administer the law.

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