How to bring your fiancee into Germany

OK, you are an EU citizen, legally resident in Germany and you have a fiancee in a country in the Former Soviet Union. You want her to be able to join you, live with you and marry you all in Germany. You have been told that there is no such thing as a fiancee visa and you have read my page stating that it _is_ possible to bring fiancee in and so you would like to know what to do about it.

First of all, read my page on getting married in Germany and start to take the steps that are outlined there. You need to start this before your fiancee comes to Germany. Some of the documents that you need will have to come from your fiancee's home country and it may be difficult to get them after she has joined you. Also, the officials responsible for granting you the visa will want to see that you are taking serious steps about the marriage.

OK, you have got that underway but what about the permission to enter Germany? You need to do two things: First, you must complete the required paperwork tasks and secondly, you must convince the officials involved that you are serious. For the latter, there do not seem to be any set rules. Nothing like the US established procedure of photos with the two of you together etc. That is a little surprising for Germany but there you go. I'll just tell you what worked for me:

I spoke to an official at the German Embassy in London. Of course, her office would not be concerned with my case but she spoke English and was a lot easier to contact that would have been the Consulate in St.Petersburg. She explained that I must write out an invitation to my fiancee in which I would ask her to come and join me in Germany and marry me and live me and promise to care for her and her child.

This would all need to be done in my own hand and in German.

As the process was dragging out, I arranged to make another trip to Russia. The aim was, of course, to visit my fiancee but also, we decided that we would go together to the German consulate and get things going.

We went along in and had two interviews. I was told exactly what to write in my invitation letter and I did this and gave it to the official. They then opened a file for our case and handed a number of forms to my fiancee.

After I had returned to Germany, she took the completed forms back to the Consulate.

Next, I received a letter to visit the Auslaenderamt at the local city offices. I was asked some questions by the official there and given a list of documents to take back. Basically, I had to bring papers to show that I had a job and could support my fiancee and that I had a large enough apartment for her to live with me and also that I had the agreement of my landlady that I could bring my fiancee to stay with me in the apartment.

Well, once I had all of these I took them back to the same official and waited. A couple of weeks later, my fiancee received a letter from the Consulate in St.Petersburg saying that she should take her passport to them because they had a visa for her!

The visa was valid for three months and was good for two entries into Germany. It was explicitly stated on the visa that it's purpose was for entry and marriage to me and also, it was noted that it was valid for Germany only. (So, it was not permitted for my fiancee to travel within the Schengen zone!)

On arrival, my fiancee had two weeks to go to the Auslanderamt and register her visa.

As it happened, it took a long time for us to assemble all of the documents that we required for the marriage but it was no problem for us to get an extension to this visa.

I had the help of a good lawyer during this process. Nobody ever said no to us but some of the officials with whom we were dealing were being less helpful than I'd have liked. A quick phone call to my lawyer always sorted these things out though.

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