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?
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
- 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.