Family reunion visa from Singapore

Hi everyone,

I am an Indian national. I am currently living and working in Singapore on an employment pass (EP). I got married in December to my husband who lives and works in Germany (Blue card). I have applied for family reunion (spouse ) visa on December 11 via German embassy in Singapore. While I am waiting for my visa to get approved, I can't help but worry about a few things that I need to sort out to ensure a smooth transition.

1) The processing time says 6 to 8 weeks. Although, my husband just checked with visa office today in Munich (the city i am moving to) and they mentioned, they are still processing September applications. What does this mean for my application processing time? Can it still be processed within 8 weeks or should i expect longer? and how long.

2) When should I ideally resign at my current job. I have to serve a notice period of ~2 months. This period could also be cut short by my company if they want and in that case, my work permit (EP) in Singapore will be cancelled. If my Visa is still under process, and my EP gets cancelled, will that be a problem for my german visa application?

Look forward to your expert advice! Thanks in advance!

I have first-hand experience of this, although from a long time ago and under a different constellation (I am German, my wife Singaporean):
- Your Family Reunion Visa (FRV) is forwarded to and processed by the foreigners authority of the German town you intend to move to. These foreigner offices are notoriously overworked, inefficient, slow, difficult to reach and deal with. How long your application needs, depends on them and is out of the embassy's control. If the foreigner office told you it will be at least four months, you should plan for that. (In our case - different city and many years ago - it took three months.)
- To be safe, you should resign only after you have the visa (or a definitive date for its issuance). Or you take the risk of a gap inbetween without visa, during which you'd have to return to your country.
For more details about Singapore visa, please post on the Singapore forum!

Thanks beppi! It is really helpful to know.
In case I am open to move back to my country (India), for a few weeks or month, while I wait for the visa. The only thing is my work permit in Singapore will be cancelled by my employer. Would you know if this would have any impact on my family reunion visa application?
Note that I did have to submit my EP copy when I applied. It was one of the docs required for submission.

My EUR 0.02

You applied for the visa stating that you are a resident of Singapore (the application is handled by the ministry through the German consulate in Singapore) and the processing of your visa application is based on this fact. It is based on this fact, the ministry decides what type of investigations they need to do and they work in coordination with the consulate which you applied at.

It is not recommended to change your resident situation while the visa application is being processed. Well if you have to, you can, but it will make everything complex and no one knows how complex it can get.

If you had no intention to stay in Singapore for the whole duration of visa processing, the cleanest way was to go back to India and apply from a consulate in India. Now its too late for that.

As of now, IMHO, the best way is to stay employed where you are now, keep the resident status, wait for your application to be approved and then resign your job, serve the notice period and travel to Germany to join your partner.

Thanks Aneesh! Your reply is very helpful. It's just that waiting for visa approval..followed by serving the notice period is going to take a few more months than I anticipated. Missing out on the precious few first months after wedding is kind of a bummer. But again, life and its ways!   :)  Thanks again for your inputs.

I don't think your visa status in another country (and any change of that) will have an impact on your German visa application.
But since you applied at the embassy in Singapore, you'd probably have to pick it up from there too - regardless of whether you still live there or not.

Yes, I'd have to collect my Visa from german embassy in Singapore. Thanks beppi. It helps to know all the options I got.

Hi Everyone,

I have some questions regarding the Family Reunion Visa as well.

I've just recently moved from Singapore to Berlin last October 2019. I have not gotten my residence permit/blue card since my schedule is on March 2020.

My partner and I (both Filipino national)s have been together for 8 years in Singapore and we plan to get married in Denmark this May 2020. My question is, will my partner be allowed to apply for the Family Reunion Visa afterwards? Because I read somewhere that, if the marriage was after I was awarded my residence permit, my partner may be required to wait until I have had the permit for two years before he can apply.

Does he need to wait for two years before he can apply? What are our other options?

Looking forward to any advice. Thank you!

Did you ask the embassy, or your nearest Ausländeramt in Germany?
I think that's better than depending on second hand information from the Internet.

Where did you hear of this 2 year rule? I never heard of such a thing – it doesn't make any sense in the context of how immigration works. Government officials are concerned with scrutinizing if a marriage is legitimate rather than just on paper and that people fulfill the requirements. Otherwise, they are not in the business in blocking people's marriages or keeping families separated. Of course things like a serious criminal conviction or having been deported from the EU are things that would disqualify one from being allowed to come. And assuming you get the blue card, the qualifications for family reunion are even laxer than for one with a normal work permit.

Hi TominStuttgart,

I read the 2 year rule here:

https://www.berlin.de/willkommenszentru … -families/https://www.expatica.com/de/moving/visa … ny-108796/

Do you think it is correct?

Thank you!

Hi Everyone,

Just a follow-up question - if don't I get a blue card, will my partner needs to have an A1 German level for the Family Reunion Visa?

Appreciate any advice. Thank you!

A1 cert is only required for FRV if the main person is German.
You are not, so your wife doesn't need it.
It is nevertheless HIGHLY recommended to be able to converse in German while living here!

Update from my side for everyone's benefit:

The German embassy in Singapore has informed me via email that my EP status in Singapore doesn't affect my application in any way. Of course, I will have to collect my visa from the embassy in Singapore physically once it is approved.

Another little query if anyone knows anything:
It has been 8 weeks for my application and I just queried my application status in Singapore and they say they are waiting to hear back from alien office (Ausländerbehörde) in München.

While my husband asked the alien office in Munich and they have said that my application is not yet with them. As soon as the alien office receives it, they will notify my husband for additional document requirements.
I am just wondering, what does this mean? Singapore has sent out my application long back (December 11) and is waiting to hear back. So, how can the alien office not have received it by now?
Will appreciate anyone sharing any knowledge on this.

The Ausländeramts are old-fashioned, slow and inefficient. Everything is on paper (sent from and to the embassy by diplomatic mail) and there is no central database to check application statuses. Thus such a reply (by phone, so unproveable) means nothing.
The only thing you can do is wait (and pray, if you want).
These foreigner offices are a disgrace for Germany and their sole purpose seems to be to make foreigners feel unwelcome (they succeed in this!). Sorry!

Thanks, beppi. I understand. I wish it was easier to wait. Although I have to say, quick responses from the German embassy in Singapore have helped me a long way in planning my move with minimal hassle. And I am really thankful for it.

There is good news though - my husband just received a physical letter from alien office just yesterday requesting additional documents from his side. We hope this means our application is under review now and shouldn't take much longer to come to the conclusion. Looking forward to it! I will update the forum with more information.

Latest updates - after submitting all the required documents on Feb 15, my husband has received an email just this last week to send more docs such as land registry certificate from the landlord and the main lease of subletting. His landlady stays in another city and communicates only through the agent (who sublet to my husband). None of his Indian friends have been asked for a "land registry certificate" from their landlord. We are so confused- why are they asking this from us, tenants? Is it a handy document that landlords in Germany can provide if tenants ask?

For sure, it is a pain in the ass for tenants to look for it.
Any suggestions on what to expect here? It's already been 4 months now.

Given your complicated (and unusual) rental situation, the authority wants to make sure your tenancy agreement is authentic and legitimate. For that, they need to check that your agent actually rents the apartment from the owner and is allowed to sublet it to you. You have no other choice than ask the owner and agent for it (and be nice to them: They are not obliged to provide it!).

Thanks beppi. We are trying to obtain it.

MarkA123 wrote:

Hi TominStuttgart,

I read the 2 year rule here:

https://www.berlin.de/willkommenszentru … -families/https://www.expatica.com/de/moving/visa … ny-108796/

Do you think it is correct?

Thank you!


Here are links to the pages of the German Immigration Authority about Family Reunification Visa and the detailed document working paper 73. Seems there can be a 2 year wait period in some circumstances of someone who marries after getting residency. If you haven't officially gotten residency yet, then you would not  be limited. Who would actually be limited by this rule is according to a specific detail of the law which is only footnoted rather than spelled out. The only way to know for sure would to be to ask the governmental authorities. But the working paper does clearly say that this would not apply to one with a blue card. So if you are eligible for one, then you should get it as soon as possible and then any problem is solved.

https://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/ … hland.html

Working paper 73. See page 18

https://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/ … e&v=16

Well, so, we sent out the last set of required documents from our landlord on March 14 and then the coronavirus situation took a turn for the worse in Germany and all around the world. The embassy in Munich is now not operating since there is a lockdown in Bavaria. I have currently returned back to India (where the whole country is in lockdown for 21 days).

I am not sure what to expect next, but we know, no one can tell. My husband is in Munich in lockdown and I am in Calcutta in lockdown. And this is our life for the foreseeable future as we see right now. If you guys have any comments or advice on how to deal with this situation better or any ideas on what might happen, pls do share :) I hope all of you are keeping safe and staying at home! good luck to all

SudsW wrote:

The embassy in Munich is now not operating since there is a lockdown in Bavaria. I have currently returned back to India (where the whole country is in lockdown for 21 days).


I'm confused about which embassy in Munich you mean? If outside of Germany, or any  country, then one deals with an embassy or consulate. But within the country one deals with the officials for foreign residents and not an embassy. Germany of course has no embassy or consulate within it's own borders. And I don't know how it is going in Munich since different regions of Germany have varying regulations now but  in Stuttgart most government offices are working although not open to the public. Things here are being done by phone or email but most officials are still working. Try these methods if you have questions.

But don't expect any officials to be able to say when travel bans might be lifted; nobody knows and it will depend on circumstances.

Tom: She is the thread starter and wrote that she is from Singapore. So I assume she meant the Singapore consulate (not embassy) in Munich.

We mailed the foreigners office (Munich) and got an auto-reply:

Ausländerbehörde wegen Coronavirus geschlossen

Zur Bekämpfung der Corona-Pandemie und im Zuge des vom Freistaat ausgerufenen Katastrophenfalls für Bayern ist die Ausländerbehörde München geschlossen.

Die Ausländerbehörde wird Personen, deren Aufenthaltstitel in den kommenden Wochen abläuft, anschreiben. Sie erhalten nach Prüfung eine Bescheinigung über die befristete Fortgeltung Ihres Aufenthalts.

Aktuelle Informationen finden Sie hier.

Bitte sehen Sie von weiteren Sachstandsanfragen ab. Wir bitten um Ihr Verständnis.



Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Ausländerbehörde München





The Foreigners Office is closed due to Corona Virus

In order to combat the corona pandemic as well as in line with the declaration of a state of emergency in Bavaria by the Government, the Foreigners Office is closed.

The Foreigners Office will write to persons whose residence title expires in the coming weeks. Following examination, you will receive a certificate confirming temporary continuity of your right of residence. Electronic residence titles already ordered will be sent per post.

Current information can be found here: https://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/home_en … tices.html



Please refrain from further status requests. We ask for your understanding.



Kind regards

Munich Foreigners Office

Hi everyone, back again with a small query if one can help.

My visa has arrived and is currently with the German embassy in Singapore. This is definitely good news and I highly appreciate (foreigners office) Germany's commitment towards delivering the visa on time (more or less) amidst the pandemic.

As per the general rules, I have to collect my visa "in person" from the embassy in Singapore. Now, I am currently stuck in India (home country). I would love to take a flight to Singapore to collect my visa, but there aren't any flights for now. India and Singapore borders are both shut.

As per the current rules, I have to collect my visa and land in Germany within 90 days i.e. until July 20th. I'm hoping, air travel resumes in time for me to do so. But if the situation doesn't get better, what are my options? Since I'm unable to collect my visa because of genuine reasons, can the visa be kept on hold for longer?

TIA

SudsW wrote:

Hi everyone, back again with a small query if one can help.

My visa has arrived and is currently with the German embassy in Singapore. This is definitely good news and I highly appreciate (foreigners office) Germany's commitment towards delivering the visa on time (more or less) amidst the pandemic.

As per the general rules, I have to collect my visa "in person" from the embassy in Singapore. Now, I am currently stuck in India (home country). I would love to take a flight to Singapore to collect my visa, but there aren't any flights for now. India and Singapore borders are both shut.

As per the current rules, I have to collect my visa and land in Germany within 90 days i.e. until July 20th. I'm hoping, air travel resumes in time for me to do so. But if the situation doesn't get better, what are my options? Since I'm unable to collect my visa because of genuine reasons, can the visa be kept on hold for longer?

TIA


Why don't you contact the Embassy?

Hi @SimCityAT, I queried the embassy in Singapore on this, they said I have 90 days, for now, to be able to collect the visa and land in Germany. The visa itself will have 6 months of validity from the date of arrival in Germany.

I just want to know if anyone has any knowledge about an extension to these 90 days because of lockdowns all over.

Should I reach out to the foreigners office in Munich if that's the case?

I have no idea whether the embassy works at all during this time (many worldwide are closed or on very limited schedules) and whether they have measures in place for such cases. You will have to contact the directy instead of asking here!
Edited to add: Contacting the foreigners' office in Munch will probably not help - they have done their part and the matter is now back at the embassy.

Hi everyone,


I am an Indian citizen living in Germany and I hold a Blue Card. My wife is an Indian citizen living in Singapore with an Employment Pass. She applied for a Family Reunion Visa on 06.07.2022. Recently when I enquired about the visa status in Germany they told me that the physical documents haven't reached the Federal Administration office and hence the process couldn't be started. So my wife went to the German embassy in Singapore and she was told that they didn't receive any feedback from Germany and also they only send the application documents electronically and not the physical documents. We are a bit confused about the entire process. It's been already 15 weeks and the fact that there is a discrepancy between what the two authorities are saying about the processing of the application is slightly worrisome. If anyone here can shed some light on the usual process or if someone can share their experience in detail then it would be really helpful.

Thanks in advance! Stay safe and healthy 1f642.svg

@Prasanth Sahiya Welcome to German buerocracy!

I assume you are talking to the wrong people (but they won't tell you that).

Who has the embassy send your documents to (electronically)? Did you contact them and ask whether it was received? Are the recipients the correct place to process your visa (e.g. there are often separate offices for a city and its suburban areas)? If not, did they forward it to another office? (Which one and how? And does that office confirm they received it and are the right addressee?)

All these things can go wrong and each one takes weeks to solve. Altogether, 3 - 6 months of processing time are sadly normal, even without mishaps.

@beppi Hi

Thanks for engaging in the conversation. I am almost certain that I contacted the right authorities because they know the type of visa, where I live in Germany, and where the documents have to be forwarded. The process seems to be the same for the rest of the Indian citizens applying for a family reunion visa but the authorities in the German embassy,Singapore don't seem to agree to that. I have forwarded the message from the Singapore authorities to the German counterparts. I hope someone will realize the problem and do what is necessary to process the application. As you said the German bureaucracy is sometimes unfathomable and lacks transparency. It feels more like they do everything in their power to discourage people from moving to Germany.

It feels more like they do everything in their power to discourage people from moving to Germany.
[email protected] Sahiya

Yes, that certainly is the impression one gets!