You decided to move to Germany but don’t want to leave your loved once behind? Nobody likes long term relationships and loneliness when in a new country, moving together to Germany will be better for both of you. But how can you do it and is it possible at all?
The short answer is yes, but it will strongly depend on your boyfriend’s nationality, education, language knowledge. However, according, to the German immigration law, citizens of non-EU members can join their partners on a Reunification visa only if they are relatives, meaning be married.
Now, getting married would be the most straightforward approach. But there are other options to move with your boyfriend to Germany.
If your boyfriend is a citizen of an EU/EEA country
Whatever you are an EU/EEA or third-country national moving to Germany, your EU boyfriend can join you without any requirements and limitations.
The freedom of movement gives him the right to travel and stay in all European countries without the need to apply for a visa or work permit.
If your boyfriend is a citizen of a non-EU/EEA country
If your boyfriend is a national of a non-EU country he will need to put more work and effort to join you in Germany. In this case, he will need to obtain a visa first to be able to enter the country and after a residence permit.
As I said before citizens from outside Europe generally need to apply for a German visa or permit before coming to Germany.
Citizens from certain countries have some privileges – including Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the US – don’t need a visa to enter Germany for stays of up to 3 months (90 days).
However, if they wish to stay longer or work, they will need to apply for a German residence permit within those 3 months in the Immigration office within Germany.
German visas and residence permits
1. Jobseeker Visa
The job seeker visa for Germany is a long-term Residence Permit, which allows you to stay in the country for six months and look for a job.
Therefore, if your boyfriend aiming to work in Germany but doesn’t have a job yet he could apply for this visa and come with you.
Note that having a job seeker visa does not entitle you to take any kind of employment in Germany. It only means that you can visit the country, look for a job and go through interviews.
This option is suitable only for Non-EU/EEA citizens. After he found a suitable job visa can be exchanged to a working residence permit.
Your boyfriend will have the best chances on employment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based (STEM) professions.
For example, last year German companies were unable to fill 337,900 STEM vacancies and more than 1.2 million open vacancies in total.
The German government has been looking to draw people who qualify from India, Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil, and Vietnam, among others.
Is he eligible for a Jobseeker visa?
Here are the requirements that must be fulfilled:
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Sufficient funds to prove that you can stay in Germany without any financial dependency on government or any other body (5,000 EUR)
- Medical Coverage plan (that takes care of your health-related expenses until you receive a Germany Work Permit)
2. Work Residence Permit
After your boyfriend has received a job agreement he can apply for a residence permit with a work purpose.
The application can be made in the German embassy in his home country or in Germany if he entered the country on a job seeker visa.
There are some exceptions for residences of several countries such as the USA, Australia, South Korea, etc., read above.
In most cases, the employer will be a sponsor, and the salary will be financial prove that he can support himself in Germany.
The length of this permit usually aligns with the length of the contract. So, if his contract is for two years, the visa will also be for two years.
It is possible to extend an employment permit if the contract is extended as well or by receiving a new one.
He can receive the Permanent Residence Permit after 5 years of living in Germany on an employment visa.
3. EU Blue Card
He can also apply for an EU Blue Card if fulfilling the requirements.
EU Blue Card – it is a permit that allows highly skilled workers from Non-EU/EEA counties to live and work in Europe for a duration of up to 4 years.
- A recognized university degree or a university degree comparable to a German university degree. He can check if his diploma fits into criteria under “foreign university degrees” on this website.
- A job offer that matches his qualifications, with an annual gross salary of at least 55,200 EUR. Germany offers some special conditions for professionals in shortage occupations, for such specialists required salary is 43.056 EUR (usually STEM professions).
He can only apply for a Blue card if he already has a job offer so long as that job pays a minimum required salary.
Sometimes foreigners struggle to find a job with such a high salary, which is significantly above the average. Moreover, employers also not ready to pay this money to international workers, who haven’t established themselves in the company.
For this reason, your boyfriend needs to actively apply for jobs in his field and also participate in as many interviews as possible.
Permit will allow him to stay up to 4 years. After just 33 months working on the EU Blue Card, he can obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in Germany.
In case he proves sufficient German Language level (B1) – he can get this permit just after 21 months. Read here more about Permanent Residence Permit in Germany.
4. Student Visa
Another option is to join you as a student, which is a good opportunity to receive a free bachelor’s or master’s degree.
For this, he will need to have a recognized in Germany Hochschulzugangsberechtigung (HZB), meaning higher education entrance qualification.
His previous education in the country of origin determines if he can enter German universities directly or needs to pass additional exams&undergo preparational courses.
Another important requirement is blocked bank account with 10,236 EUR. So he can support himself in Germany, otherweise job agreement, liability waiver are also alternative options.
If studying in German proof of German (DSH, Goethe Institut Certification, TestDaF B2) is required or if a program in English – IELTS minimum 6.0/TOEFL 80.
In addition to free education, he will receive working permission together with a student residence permit. It will allow him to work part-time, but not more than 120 full days or 240 half days per year or 20 hours per week if EU national.
Your boyfriend can expect a salary of 9 to 15 EUR per hour, however, he will need to pay tax after exceeding a 450 EUR per month tax-free amount.
Read here more about studying in Germany.
5. Apprenticeship Residence Permit (Ausbildung)
And probably the last option is to apply for an Apprenticeship also known as vocational training in Germany.
Apprenticeship (Ausbildung) is theoretical and practical training on the chosen occupation, where you go to school and work simultaneously. It lasts between 2 and 3 years.
The most common jobs are various handicrafts, electrician, nurse, plumber, mason, painter or hairdresser, salesperson, etc. But often there is an Ausbildung profession in almost all fields and industries.
The advantages of this type of education are that he won’t need to prove funds and will get paid while working, as well as for being in the school.
At the same time getting qualified for his future employment! To apply he must have at least a B1 level of German.
The disadvantage of this program is the pay which is pretty low and may not be enough to cover the rent and living expenses.
Read here more about how to move to Germany without a job (if your boyfriend doesn’t have one yet).
Also if you or your boyfriend are from the USA, read more in detail on how to start a new life in Germany.
Can you bring your family to Germany?
Family reunification is possible in Germany! The Immigration Authorities in Germany have established a special visa for this purpose, which non-EU nationals can apply for to join their family members in Germany.
However, under this visa, you won’t be able to bring your girlfriend/boyfriend over. To join you, he or she must be your relative.
Therefore this law relates to spouse and kids and others such as sisters and brothers and sometimes even parents. Although for others is harder to get permission.
Additionally, the person who invites their relatives must speak German and the coming partner must have at least some basic German knowledge!
Whether a marriage visa, fiance visa, spouse visa or for other family members, he/she must be a relative of the resident of Germany.
The inviting person must meet these criteria:
- Have a temporary or permanent residence permit or an EU Blue Card for Germany.
- Accommodation: have rented accommodation in Germany which is large enough for the entire family.
- Health insurance and money: have sufficient health insurance cover and funds to be able to care for the family.
- Legal age: spouse is of full legal age, i.e. at least 18 years old.
However, there are several exceptions. Your spouse/family member does not require any knowledge of German to obtain a visa or a residence permit if:
- You are an EU Blue Cardholder.
- You are working in Germany as a highly qualified worker or a research scientist.
- Your spouse has a university degree.
- You are (or your spouse is) a national of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the United States of America.
- Health insurance for students
- Heath insurance for expats, employees, business owners, freelancers
- Free banking account for students
- Blocked banking account for students
- Liability insurance
- Car insurance
- Check how much you can earn in Germany (for all professions)
- Send money from/to Germany across the world for pennies
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