Intended Marriage Visa (Long-Term) - Germany

Hello all!

I suppose I'll just cut to the chase:

I'm Kenyan and my lovely fiance is German and Swedish. We've been together for nearly three years now. I already have a B2 level of German (learning C1 now) and this is not my first time applying for a visa to a European country (I lived in Spain for a couple of years (National Visa) and had travelled to Europe for school trips/leisure before this (Schengen Visas). My last trip to Europe was about 4 years ago. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I haven't been able to visit my fiance's home country).

The Sitch:
I recently applied for a visa for intended marriage in Germany. We ran into a bit of a hiccup because the Standesamt (registry office) hadn't verified my documents (instead issuing us with the "Bescheinigung"/permission to get married after only a few weeks). This, according to the German Embassy, is a big, big problem for a Kenyan "Intended Marriage" visa applicant.

I was informed that the embassy would review my documents and let me know whether a verification is, indeed, necessary. I was also informed that the verification could take 4 months. At which point a dull, pounding sort of haziness overwhelmed me: my Bescheinigung was only valid for exactly 4 months and the thought of starting from scratch felt something like a cement truck being emptied on my lungs *cue uncontrollable tears in the middle of the visa office*

Drama aside, my questions are as follows:
1. Has anyone ever gotten this type of visa without the verification process (this question is intended for individuals from a developing country since their experience is likely to be more akin to my own. Though, since every experience is valuable and I'm definitely not trying to exclude anyone,  please, please do share regardless of your country of origin!)?

2. Assuming no verification is required (or your verification was already completed), how long did it take to process your visa application once it was with the Embassy? Did they contact you at any point prior to the final decision or was it just randomly sprung on you in an E-Mail after weeks of radio silence?

3. Did you have to attend an interview on top of the brief questioning that takes place on the day of submission of documents?

4.  Does anyone have experience with my aforementioned situation (See: "The Sitch")? Specifically having to get their documents verified after having already received permission from the registry office to get married. What became of your deadline? Did you have to start the whole process from scratch?

5. If you have been through something similar, how long did it take for the Embassy to let you know that you would need to do the verification? It's been a couple of weeks and the Embassy still hasn't given me an update. I now have less than four months until my Bescheinigung expires. *cue suspenseful: dun dun duuuun*

Otherwise, my good people, thank you for your time!

I have scoured the depths of the internet in search of a forum/article/video/anything which addressed these questions, but to no avail. I would really appreciate any help. As you all might well imagine, I've been anxious as heck trying to plan for whatever comes next.

Additionally, even if you can only provide insight for one of the questions, any input whatsoever for any of the questions would be dearly appreciated.


P.S. Believe it or not, but this is the shortened version of my post. I apologise for the lengthy read. Being concise is definitely not my forte.

Sorry, I do not know the exact answer to your questions. But I do know that German family registries ("Standesamt") are extremely difficult and inflexible, especially when it comes to foreign issues - they simply do not acknowledge that there is a world around us and that rules can be different elsewhere. Furthermore, each and every Standesamt seems to have their own rules (or at least interpret them differently), so there is hardly any generally true advice.
For this reason, many foreign couples marry elsewhere (e.g. Denmark, Las Vegas, Singapore, and in your case Sweden might also worth looking into). Getting a foreign marriage accepted here is far easier!

Hello beppi,
I've seen your helpful responses all over the forum and appreciate how much effort you have put into helping people in these kinds of situations! I'm especially thankful that you have taken the time to address my query. I understand that it would be hard to offer a response to this, but I'm grateful for you taking the time regardless!

I generally had no issues with the registry office whatsoever, if I'm honest. They were incredibly helpful throughout the process and processed our application very quickly.

My bigger concern is with the embassy. I'm not sure how they intend on proceeding, seeing as I didn't have my documents verified by the registry office, as is normally the case. I suppose I was looking for a way to calm my nerves by seeing if anyone has placed a successful visa application without verification of their documents.

Anyways, sorry, I'm rambling, gosh! Once again, thank you for your time and insight, beppi. I'm happy you took the time to post a response!

Not sure I understand the problem. The legal situation of being married in Germany has many consequences. Not only do they want to make sure marriages are legitimate rather than faked so one can get residency; they need to make sure one is not already married and usually ask for documentation from the home country which also has to be officially translated into German. And yes, such a process can take time; no reason to make a drama about it.

I have heard of some horror stories of such things taking a few years but they were usually due to one having been married before and there being a problem with the recognition of the divorce certification. So unless you have a serious criminal record, which will mean a denial of immigration regardless of one’s marital status, you should be okay.

Hello TominStuttgart,

Thank you for taking the time to get back to me! Similar to beppi, I've seen your responses all over the forum and think it's great that you guys take the time to help people in these situations.

I can understand why you can't comprehend the issue I am facing. I appreciate you taking the time to respond regardless based on your understanding of the situation!

It's great to know that my lack of a criminal record and lack of a divorce history is beneficial in this process. I will keep that in mind as I attempt to keep my anxiety at bay.

Regarding the drama, I believe the whole family reunion visa process is not ideal for an individual with an anxiety disorder haha! The drama is guaranteed and unavoidable, unfortunately. Though it definitely helps to get responses like yours. Very, very grateful!


noraflorose wrote:

I believe the whole family reunion visa process is not ideal for an individual with an anxiety disorder haha!

The same is true for all dealings with German (and most other place's) buerocrazy. Be prepared for more of this once you actually reach the country!

Very ominous, but very true! Though I'd say the other foreign authorities I've dealt with were a bit more straight forward (I'm speaking from my personal experience; I definitely don't mean to refute what you said).

But well! You're absolutely right about German bureaucracy. At least I'll have my fiance by my side at that point. He has the magical effect of making my anxiety go away with just a hug. This is far harder to achieve through Skype.

Anyways, sorry to get all mushy. I really do appreciate the forewarning. I'm bracing myself already!

Hello noraflorose,

I also submitted my documents for verification in July. Then the waiting games began. We're getting to the fourth month with no idea if our process has started or not, anyway we can only hope for the best. My question is, why did the Standesamt tell you your papers don't need verification? That's weird,  second which city or Standesamt did you apply from and have you gotten any good news do far?

I will tell you about my marriage. Am Zimbabwean and South African. I got married to a German. All they wanted from me was an original birth certificate, the one that has been signed and authorised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in my country, after getting it authorised it has to be translated into German and then authorised by the German embassy either in Zim or SA of which mine was in Zim. Then l needed a Non Marriage certificate from the ministry of Home Affairs, likewise it had to be authentified by the ministry of Foreign affairs.

Then l took my papers for an appointment for marriage at Standesamt. The verification (if it was) took us 4 days and then they called us for an appointment to choose the day of marriage. So it was.

P/S the procedure for authentication of documents ar the ministry of foreign affairs and Germany Embassy is a standard procedure, l did that with my academic certificates sometime ago when l got a Germany scholarship.

Hi Theo123456

That must have been ages ago.

Of course if 2019 is ages ago then it was

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