Can a spouse work on a dependent visa in Germany?

The Clear answer is – Yes, your spouse can work in Germany on a dependent visa.

Germany offers a supportive framework that allows spouses of expatriates to engage in employment.

This is a major relief for families, as it opens up dual-earning potential and offers a more comprehensive experience of the German lifestyle.


In this blog post, we will walk you through the entire process, from understanding the types of visas available to the specific requirements your spouse needs to meet to work in Germany.

We’ll also cover the application process and the rights your spouse will have upon arrival.

The Basics of Dependent Visa in Germany

A Dependent Visa, also known as a Family Reunification Visa (FRV), allows family members of a primary visa holder to join them in Germany.

This visa is typically granted to spouses, registered partners, and children. It aims to keep families together while one member works or studies in Germany.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for a dependent visa can vary depending on the primary visa holder’s status. However, some general requirements include:

  • Proof of Relationship: Marriage certificate for spouses, birth certificates for children.
  • Financial Stability: Proof that the primary visa holder can financially support the dependent.
  • Accommodation: Adequate living space for the family.
  • Age of Spouse: Your spouse should be at least 18 years old to be eligible for the Family reunion visa.

Requirements for Spouse to Join in Germany

The primary visa holder must have a valid residence permit, a settlement permit, or an EU Blue Card for Germany. This serves as the foundational requirement for the spouse to join them in the country.


Having a suitable living space is crucial. The primary visa holder should have rented or bought accommodation that is large enough for the family. This is often verified through rental contracts or property ownership documents.

Health Insurance and Financial Stability

The primary visa holder must have sufficient health insurance coverage and financial resources to support the family. This is usually verified through bank statements, pay slips, or tax statements.

Legal Age Requirement

The spouse must be of legal age, i.e., at least 18 years old, to be eligible for a dependent visa in Germany.

Language Proficiency

While not a strict requirement, knowing some level of German can be beneficial for the spouse.

Some visas (e.g. Non-EU Blue Card Employment visa) may require a basic level of German language proficiency.

Do you have further questions?

Join our community of job seekers and experts from Germany. You can ask your doubts and get expert advice on topics related to getting a job in Germany and several other related topics.

Application Process

Navigating the visa application process can be daunting, but understanding the steps involved can make it much more manageable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the application process for a spouse’s dependent visa in Germany.

Step 1: Initial Documentation

Before applying for the visa, gather all the necessary documents. These usually include:

  • Passport of the primary visa holder
  • Marriage certificate or proof of a registered/civil partnership
  • Financial proof (bank statements, pay slips, etc.)

Please visit the official German embassy website in your country to get the official list of required documents for the FRV.

Step 2: Visa Application

The spouse needs to apply for the visa at the German Embassy or a German consulate in their home country. The application form can usually be downloaded from the embassy’s website.

Document RequiredDescription
Visa Application FormFilled and signed by the applicant
PassportValid for at least six months
Marriage CertificateLegal proof of marriage
Financial ProofBank statements, pay slips, etc from the main applicant
Health InsuranceValid health insurance coverage

Step 3: Interview and Fees

An interview will be scheduled, and a visa application fee will be charged. The fee varies depending on the country and the type of visa.

Step 4: Processing Time

The processing time for a dependent visa can vary but usually takes between 2 to 3 months. It’s advisable to apply well in advance.

Step 5: Arrival and Registration

Once the visa is granted, the spouse can travel to Germany. Upon arrival, they must register at the Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within the first two weeks.

Step 6: Apply for a Residence Permit

Within three to six months of arrival, the spouse must apply for a residence permit at the local immigration authority or Auslanderbehörde. This will allow them to live and work in Germany long-term.

Below is an official infographic from the Make It in Germany website that displays the key milestones in the Family Reunion Visa process:

Right to Work

One of the most crucial aspects for spouses moving to Germany on a dependent visa is the ability to work.

The good news is that Germany offers a flexible framework that allows spouses to engage in employment.


Immediate Right to Work

Once the right of residence has been granted, the spouse is immediately entitled to take up any kind of employment in Germany. This is particularly beneficial for families looking to have dual incomes.

The dependent just needs to inform the Foreigner’s office (Auslanderbehörde) about the job along with the employment contract copy.

Job Search

While the spouse has the right to work, finding a job is the next step. Various platforms can assist in the job search:

You can find a list of recommended job platforms here.

Work Permits

In most cases, the spouse will not need a separate work permit. The residence permit usually includes the authorization to work.

If the Spouse is eligible for a Blue card, they can apply for one. If not, they can simply continue the employment with their existing dependent visa.

However, it’s essential to verify this information on the residence permit card.


Moving to a new country is a significant life event that comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. One of the most pressing concerns for families is whether the spouse can work in the new country. This blog post aimed to provide a comprehensive guide to answer that question for those considering Germany as their new home.

The good news is that Germany offers a supportive framework for spouses of expatriates. Once the right of residence has been granted, spouses are immediately entitled to work, thereby opening up dual-earning potential for families. This is a significant advantage that sets Germany apart from many other countries.


Navigating the visa process and understanding the right to work for spouses in Germany can be complex. Here are some frequently asked questions to help clarify some common concerns.

1. Can my spouse work immediately upon arrival in Germany?

Yes, once the right of residence has been granted, your spouse is immediately entitled to work in Germany. However, it’s essential to register at the local Residents’ Registration Office within the first week of arrival.

2. Is German language proficiency required for my spouse to work?

While not a strict requirement for most dependent visas, having some level of German language proficiency can be beneficial when looking for a job.

3. What types of jobs can my spouse apply for?

If the primary visa holder has an Employment Visa or an EU Blue Card, the spouse has an unrestricted right to work, meaning they can apply for any job that matches their qualifications.

4. Do we need separate health insurance for my spouse?

Health insurance is mandatory for everyone living in Germany, including dependents. You can either extend your existing coverage to include your spouse or they can get their own policy.

5. How long does it take to process a dependent visa?

The processing time can vary but usually takes between 2 to 3 months. It’s advisable to apply well in advance to avoid any delays.

Interested in discussing the above topic in detail? Schedule a 30-minute 1-1 session with Anoop here.

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