My spouse’s experience with Family Reunion Visa (for Germany from India)
Please do not send me invites or ask questions on LinkedIn or Facebook. You can ask your questions in the comments and if i know the answers, I can help.
Please note that I shared this experience so that it is helpful to everyone who is going through this process and it does not mean I have answers to all the questions. I am not a visa consultant and have a full time job like everyone.
After sharing my experience with German National Visa, I was getting more questions about the spouse’s visa a.k.a Family Reunion Visa (spouse) from people who are going through similar phase. Which documents did she submit? How much time did it take? Which questions do they ask during visa appointment? and many more.
For consistency, I am keeping this post in the same format as the earlier post about employment visa.
This post tries to list down some common question and their answers.
Disclaimer: This is our personal experience and others can have a totally different one.
1. What type of visa should I be applying and how to find out?
Broadly, there are 2 types of visas -
- Schengen Visa — for short term e.g tourism
- German National Visa — for long term e.g employment, study, for spouse
So, It’s the German National Visa we need to accompany the spouse in Germany. It is called Family Reunion Visa (for spouse) and you can use the standard name while booking an appointment. Refer the step 1 here.
2. How to book an appointment for the visa?
- For Mumbai consulate, there is only one way to book the visa appointment (as of this writing) and that is via phone booking. Depending on where you lived in last 6 months, you need to book an appointment with the nearest German Consulate. We were staying in Pune so She booked an appointment with German Consulate in Mumbai. Please refer this page for more details — how to book visa appointment?
- Usually, there would be a waiting period of 8–10 minutes and you will keep listening to the auto tune. Keep your passport in hand before calling. You will need to provide your passport number, birth date, email id, visa category (i.e. Family Reunion Visa (spouse))and other details (if any) while making an appointment.
- Once they confirm the details, you will get an email from VFS about the time slot. You need to keep this email safe and get it printed for the actual appointment day.
- In case you want to reschedule the appointment, you must do it 48 hours before the appointment time.
- You can reschedule it only once (clarify it with VFS while booking the appointment)
- Make sure you have all the documents prepared as per the document checklist (more details below) before the appointment date. There’s usually a waiting period for the appointment (sometimes 2 months), on an average 1 month. After booking your appointment, you can check with VFS periodically for free slots and if you’re lucky and you can reduce some waiting period.
3. What all documents are needed?
- Take a look at the document checklist for Family Reunion (spouse) category here — https://india.diplo.de/in-en/service/-/1803740
- You need to look at checklist for family reunion visa.
Some points about the documents mentioned in the checklist —
- Links for all the required documents like Declaration and Additional contact info are given on the page mentioned above. You can download those forms from that page.
- Personal Covering Letter is something your spouse needs to write to the German Consulate. It should mention the exact purpose of the visa application i.e. to accompany his/her spouse to Germany. Additionally, you can also mention about the company which is employing your spouse and the compensation paid by the company. It is important to mention that all your travel expenses will be taken care by your spouse or spouse’s employer (as part of relocation package). You can also mention about your profession and that you are planning to find a job after joining your spouse in Germany.
- Certificate of residence (Meldebescheinigung) of spouse living in Germany — This is something your spouse will get once he/she will register (Anmeldung) with the city registration office.
- Spouse’s residence permit — There are two possibilities here. Either your spouse has already got the Blue Card or the application is in process. In our case, my application for Blue Card was in process so my wife just submitted my visa which was valid for 6 months. But when she got the approval email, they specifically mentioned that she needs to submit my Long term residence permit i.e Blue card copy while giving her passport for stamping. Luckily, by then I had my blue card (It took approximately 1 month for me to get it after coming to Germany)
- Proof of marriage —This is the most crucial set of documents and you have to be very very careful about them. It includes Marriage Certificate, Temple Certificate and Photographs. In our case, the marriage certificate was in English/Marathi and we submitted the same. (We did not have any temple certificate and did not submit it) I get questions about whether one should apostille the marriage certificate or not. From my personal experience, the one we had with English/Marathi worked fine. Some of the people i know, submitted the apostilled certificate and it worked for them as well. So, it’s up to you.
- About the marriage photographs — you need to take all the photographs showing all the important rituals performed during the wedding (as mentioned in the document checklist). In my wife’s case, they looked at the photo album she took with her and also some photos she additionally printed just in case they ask for copies.
- Proof of German knowledge (A1 level) — My wife did not have to submit it and from what I have heard from my friends, colleagues none of them submitted it. (I am not aware of the specific cases when they required it but i will update this section as soon as i know about it.)
- Copy of the valid employment contract and salary slips of the last three months — In our case, it was just a month I was in Germany and had just 1 salary slip during my wife’s visa appointment. So, we just submitted my employment contract copy and one salary slip. Which worked perfectly fine.
- Demand Draft for verification of documents — This is NOT needed at the time of visa appointment. After the appointment, if required they will send you an email about the document verification and ask you to send an additional DD with amount they need.
- Specifically for Mumbai Consulate, there are some additional documents 1. Invitation letter of spouse — This is a standard document you can write about inviting your spouse to Germany since you are moving there for employment. 2. Spouse’s employment contract and salary slips (in our case just 1 salary slip worked fine). 3. Lease Deed (if spouse is already residing in Germany) — This you’ll anyway have to get before registering in the city (Anmeldung)
- All the other documents are self explanatory. Demand Draft requirements are same as I mentioned in my visa experience.
4. Any problems faced during the application?
- In addition to the points mentioned in my visa experience, the most important piece of information that I missed is that, we could have applied for both our visas together. Apparently, when both of the spouses are in India during their visa appointment got their visas in less than couple of weeks (from what I’ve heard). But, I did not know this and since the family reunion checklist mentions about the proof of residence and salary slips, I thought spouse with employment visa needs to go to Germany first and then the other spouse can join. I think that was the biggest mistake we did and as a result we had to wait almost for 5 months.
- Another thing that happened with us was the document verification. After the visa appointment date, my wife got an email from the consulate that she needs to submit additional Demand Draft worth INR 8,500 for document verification. She immediately got it and posted it to the consulate on the given address. After about 2–3 weeks an advocate called her and started asking questions about the marriage — where was the marriage ceremony happen? Which date? How old were you both at that time? etc. She was not present at the address mentioned in the application form and the advocate actually went there. But luckily, he called and did not ask to be physically present there.
- After that we waited for about 2 months. It is specifically mentioned in the document checklist that the verification process can take between 8 to 12 weeks. We called the consulate in between but most of the times no one picked up the phone. One day someone picked up the call and we asked for the status, then they asked to email on an address. After I emailed, the very next day my wife got an email that she needs to visit German Consulate, Mumbai with photos of marriage again on a given date.
- She visited the consulate and after 2–3 days she got the approval email mentioning that she can submit her passport for visa stamping and along with that she needs to submit my long term residence permit i.e. Blue Card copy
5. On the appointment day
This is exactly same as mentioned in my visa experience.
6. After the visa appointment
This is exactly same as mentioned in my visa experience.
For additional information, there are couple of videos a friend of mine did on this topic —
I would recommend this YouTube channel for all the information you need to make your move to Germany smoother!
All the very best for your move! 🙂