I'm married to a German national. After living together in Germany for about 1.5 years he had to move to Hong Kong for his work. I was given resident permit each for one year. On my third year when we went to renew for permanent I was told that since my partner works in Hong Kong I can no longer get permit to live in Germany. I work for an airline and we see each other often. Can you please clarify what the German law says in cases like this?

1 Answer 1


The relevant law for visa of spouses is section 28 of the German residence act (emphasis mine):

(1) The residence permit shall be granted to the foreign

  1. spouse of a German, [...]

if the German's ordinary residence is in the federal territory. [...]

(2) As a rule, the foreigner shall be granted a settlement permit if he or she has been in possession of a residence permit for three years, the family unit with the German continues to exist in the federal territory, there are no grounds for expulsion and the foreigner has a sufficient command of the German language. [...] The residence permit shall otherwise be extended as long as the family unit continues to exist. [...]

You may or may not fulfill the second bolded condition for a settlement permit. However, a necessary precondition is the first bolded one, which you don't reach based on your description.

In section 31 there are a few others conditions that may give you independent right of residence which – based on your description – you don't fulfill either.

Based on your exact circumstances you may fulfill criteria for a visa on your own (e.g. residence for work) but being married to a non-residing German citizen doesn't grand you any additional rights beyond that.

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