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I got married in Sweden (Civil Marriage) and I registered my marriage in Sweden.

My wife is Swedish but she is working in Frankfurt. Since she is a EU citizen she has registered herself legally in the country as a resident. She is already working in Frankfurt and has registered a rental apartment.

I am Lebanese - Currently, I have a tourist visa and but my visa will finish in 1 month. I am staying with my wife in Frankfurt at the moment. I need to know which steps I need to take in order to obtain a visa/resident so that I can live and work in Germany with my wife.

Additional information:

I am looking for a spousal visa in Germany. I want to stay with my wife even after my tourist visa expires, and I am trying to find out which papers I need to arrange for to be able to do so.

On a more long term, I of course want to work as well. I am not so familiar with the different kind of visas/resident arrangement which would be applicable to my situation and how they could be applied for. If I apply for spouse visa now, could I work under this visa or do I need to apply later for a work visa?

Any feedback on the different kind of visas/residence solutions would be much appreciated.

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The most obvious choice for you is what's called an “Aufenthaltskarte für Familienangehörige eines Unionsbürgers” (Residence card for family members of an EU citizen). It's attractive because it's very cheap and easy to get (basically you need to prove that you are in fact married and still living together and that your wife has a job). You would then get the right to work in Germany as well so applying for a spousal visa/residence card is in fact the easiest way to gain the right to work.

I don't have any first-hand experience with this situation but I think you should be able to apply for it from within the country and be allowed to stay while they process your application.

I could not find any good description on the website from the town of Frankfurt but Berlin has a nice page in English about this and the procedure should be very similar. Here are the contact details for the Ausländerbehörde in Frankfurt.

Other German long-stay visas/residence titles, including spousal visas for the family of German citizens or non-EU residents of Germany or regular work visas have more onerous requirements (e.g. speaking German, having a specific job offer meeting some standard) and must typically be obtained from outside Germany.

The one drawback of the family members residence card is that your right to stay in Germany is contingent upon your wife's job and the continuation of your marriage. If you separate or she loses her job, especially during the first five years, you could be forced to leave the country. Probably not something on your mind right now but it does make a difference legally speaking.

  • Hello Gala, thank you for your detailed and informative answer. It is highly appreciated and most helpful. I agree that this is the best option for me and I have now done some more research on my own based on the key information you gave me regarding "Residence card for family members of EU citizens". I would like to ask you if you know which steps I need to take to obtain this residence card. Which government/municipal office should I visit to apply for this? I tried to find the information on my own but got some conflicting facts. – user6084 Feb 10 '15 at 23:24
  • @user6084 The address in Frankfurt provided in my second link should be the right one. I don't know much more than that. – Gala Feb 11 '15 at 16:15
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    Dear Gala, I would like to thank you for your help. Everything went well as you said. And we have our Paper done :) – user6084 Mar 22 '15 at 20:53
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    @user6084 Thanks for your kind words, glad it worked out! – Gala Mar 23 '15 at 23:01

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