I'm a UK Citizen living in the USA. What would the requirements be to move with my US Citizen spouse to Germany? And is it possible or would I have to move over first then move there.

2 Answers 2


According to this article:

When an EU national is working abroad in another EU country, family members also have the right to reside and work in that country, regardless of their nationality. Children have the right to be educated there.

Family members do not need a work permit to work, even if they are non-EU nationals. They have the right to equal treatment, including access to all social and tax advantages.

Children of EU nationals working abroad in another EU country have the right to education in the host country, whatever their nationality, on the same terms as nationals of that country. They must also be given the same access to study grants.

Another article provides the details of the formalities for Non-EU spouses:

During their first 3 months in your host country, your family members who are not EU nationals cannot be required to apply for a residence card confirming their right to live there - although in some countries they may have to report their presence upon arrival.

After 3 months in your host country, your non-EU family members must register their residence with the relevant authorities (often the town hall or local police station).

In the case of Germany, this article indicates:

Your family members who are not EU nationals must apply for a residence card (Aufenthaltskarte).

You need to show there is a family relationship with the EU citizen who is already legally resident in Germany. To do so, you will need to produce relevant documents, such as:

  • Husband / wife: marriage certificate
  • (grand)children: birth certificate
  • Registered partners: certificate of civil partnership

The residence card is usually valid for 5 years.

  • Would you also have a reference about the entry requirements for the non-EU spouse (when moving together for a long stay)? I've been searching this for months. Some sources (europa.eu, but sort of unclearly) say they only need the marriage certificate, others (consulates) say they fallback to tourist requirements (return ticket, income, accomodation, health insurance). I never found a definite and reliable source about it. Sep 28, 2015 at 18:42
  • @Vituel, it depends on the non-EU spouse origin and the country of destination in the EU. I am unaware of a comprehensive online resource that will cover all cases. I would use a relocation agency or contact the local authorities of the European country you are planning to move to. Oct 2, 2015 at 8:51

Generally speaking, your spouse has a very strong right to move with you, as explained by David.

In practice, US citizens can visit Germany for three months without a visa and are allowed to apply for a residence permit from within the country anyway (i.e. even if they are not EU family members) so the procedure is very simple. Just move together and apply for a residence permit as soon as you have all the documents. Do check in advance with the local “Ausländerbehörde” to make sure you have everything and can get documents or translations in advance.

If your spouse had another citizenship, the procedure could be slightly more complex as it could still be necessary to secure a visa before moving but that's not the case for US citizens.

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