I am Brazilian and my girlfriend is German. Some weeks ago she had to go back and we thought about the possibility of me going to Germany so we could live together. For that, our initial plan was me to visit Germany with a tourist visa (Brazilians are not required for visits under 90 days), staying for a period like a month or so to see if I would enjoy the place, and if I do, apply for a temporary residency visa while I still am in Germany.

Is it possible to apply for such visa within German Borders? Would this kind of relationship be acceptable for requiring a visa or we would need to be married in order to require such thing? How about work, am I eligible to obtain an work and living visa since my main goal is to stay with her and for that need to get a work in order to sustain our household?

I have been looking for answers all over the internet, but there's little to no information in Portuguese and when I look for something in English, I normally find information about US citizens that can live in Germany under certain specific conditions, which is far from this scenario.

  • Did your girlfriend work elsewhere in the EU before?
    – Gala
    Apr 7, 2015 at 16:26
  • No she did not. asides coming here for study, she had never left Germany before.
    – Peter
    Apr 7, 2015 at 19:28
  • It could have spared you the German test but it's not relevant then.
    – Gala
    Apr 7, 2015 at 20:36
  • I understand. Thanks for your comments, you have been quite helpful! How about the requirement to change the visa kind while inside Germany, any info on that?
    – Peter
    Apr 7, 2015 at 21:02
  • It seems I addressed it in my answer, or am I missing something? To be completely accurate, you don't need a visa to enter for a short-stay and you don't need a visa either to stay long-term as you would apply for a residence permit instead. Only people from other countries need visas in either case.
    – Gala
    Apr 7, 2015 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


Just like US citizens, you could apply for a “family reunification” (Ehegattennachzug) permit from within Germany. This is only possible for citizens of a handful of nations but Brazil is among them. For reference, see the page on family reunification (in German) on the Foreign Ministry's website. The relevant bit is

Staatsangehörige Australiens, Brasiliens, El Salvadors, Israels, Japans, Kanadas, Neuseelands, Südkoreas und der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika können die erforderliche Aufenthaltsgenehmigung auch nach der Einreise einholen.

Literally: “Citizens of Australia, Brazil, El Salvador, Israel, Japan, Canada, New-Zealand, South-Korea and the United States of America can also obtain the necessary residence permit after entry.” By contrast, citizens from all other countries (except EU and associated countries of course) need to apply for a specific visa from outside Germany.

As far as I know, family reunification does require some form of registered partnership (if not a traditional marriage then at least a civil union, eingetragene Partnerschaft in German) and possibly some knowledge of German. If you get a residence permit through this route, as the spouse of a German citizen you would have an unconditional right to work in Germany.

If you cannot do that, the other solution would be a regular work permit but you must qualify for that on your own, based on your qualifications and experience and having a German partner would not help in this case. Basically you need to find an employer willing to sponsor you and extend a specific job offer with a salary over a rather high threshold. I don't think Brazilian citizens can apply for that one from within the country either (US Americans definitely can).

Beware: The rules that apply to partners of German citizens are different from those that apply to partners of other EU citizens or third-country nationals who reside in Germany. There are also slightly different rules for family reunification visas/permits and regular work permits. So what you might have read about other related situations does not readily apply to yours.

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