I am a German citizen, my wife is an Indian national. We both live in the USA and are both permanent residents (green card holders) and are full-time employed.

What type of permission is needed for her to travel with me to Germany? Does she need a visa? If so which type (tourist, visiting family/friends, etc.).

More information: The purpose is visiting in-laws and tourism (vacation), the duration is two weeks.

Please note: This is different from the already answered "Non-EU spouse of an EU citizen - is visiting EU without needing a visa possible?" since neither one of us lives in the EU.

  • 1
    The type of visa probably depends on the purpose, and possibly on the duration, of the trip. Can you add that information to your question?
    – phoog
    Mar 16, 2016 at 18:34
  • She will need some kind of visa, but the marriage will be much more important than her employment status or the purpose of the visit.
    – o.m.
    Mar 16, 2016 at 18:38
  • I began writing up an answer to say that she can get a normal Schengen short-stay visa if you're going to be there for 90 days or less, but the implications for that in combination with EU freedom of movement laws get to be truly weird. I have a feeling that someone in the German administration has thought of this, so the short-stay visa may not be an option after all. It may be that the only way to get a reliable answer will be to ask at the German consulate.
    – phoog
    Mar 16, 2016 at 18:56
  • Indeed, I find the two answers in the related question answer this one completely. DinUS, if they do not satisfy you, please let us know in what way they do not.
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 16, 2016 at 22:11
  • @CGCampbell this question is not at all a duplicate and none of the linked answers addresses this question. For a trip to one's own country of citizenship (in this case, by a German citizen to Germany), when one does not reside in the EU, the European Union freedom of movement regime does not apply in the least. As far as I noticed, none of the answers so much as mentions this in the general case, let alone with respect to Germany.
    – phoog
    Mar 17, 2016 at 4:33

1 Answer 1


Now that the question is reopened, I'll try to summarize the comments.

  • The Indian spouse will need a Schengen visa or a residence permit.
  • She would probably qualify for a German residence permit under German law if the German spouse was resident in Germany (which he isn't). She would also have to show basic fluency in the language.
  • She would qualify for a residence permit under EU rules if the German spouse was resident in any other EU country (which he isn't). With this permit they could travel to Germany.

After a bit of googling, I couldn't find a tourist visa for the purpose of family reunification, because those usually result in a much more permanent residence permission. And the EU rules are based on the concept of freedom of movement for workers in the EU.

phoogs suggestions may be the best one, ask the consulate and edit this answer.

  • To qualify for the German residence permit, she'd need to prove a certain degree of proficiency in German.
    – phoog
    Mar 17, 2016 at 22:25
  • @phoog, that was in my second bullet point. However, there are exceptions.
    – o.m.
    Mar 18, 2016 at 6:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .