I am a Pakistani citizen. I have been married to a Polish citizen for the last 5 years. I have Polish temporary ID (no Polish passport yet). It's valid for 1 year. For 1 year I have been in Poland.

Can I work in Germany or other EU countries, while my wife works in Poland?

  • Having a passport is not important but being a Polish citizen makes a huge difference. What's this “temporary ID”? Is it a national ID card or a residence permit? Are you a Polish citizen or not?
    – Gala
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 18:51
  • 1
    I'm guessing this ID is a permanent residency card. IIRC, in Poland one is such a situation is entitled to citizenship after living in Poland for 2 years, but they get granted permanent residency automatically immediately.
    – vartec
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


Being a resident in Poland or having a Polish wife does not grant you the right to work elsewhere in the EU. In fact, since your wife is a resident in her country of origin, EU law about spouses of EU citizen generally does not apply to you at all (there are some exceptions, e.g. if you lived together elsewhere in the EU in the past).

Unless you are also a Polish citizen, if you wife continues to live in Poland, you would therefore be treated there like any other Pakistani citizen in Germany and would need to apply for a regular work permit (it's not forbidden of course but the requirements are quite onerous and you have to qualify for a visa/permit based on your own situation, not your wife's citizenship). On the other hand, if your wife would find work in Germany, then EU law would kick in and you would have a right to move with her and also to work in the same country with minimal formalities.

Finally if you are in fact a Polish citizen and have an ID to prove it, having a passport is not required. EU citizens can work or travel in the whole EU without passport (at least if they come from a country that issues ID cards, otherwise they need a passport in practice but it's not mandatory per se).

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