Rights After Marriage During Ongoing Asylum Procedure

This time, the question for lawyer Angelika is about rights and possible obstacles that arise when a German and a refugee are planning to marry in Germany and the asylum procedure has not yet been completed.


Dear Nina,

First of all, we hope everything works out with your civil wedding, because that will be the first obstacle. The registry office requires many documents from both of you. Usually, a passport, a birth certificate or other proof of descent, a certificate of nobility certifying that you are able of marry according to the law of your home country, especially that you are not or no longer married, and other documents depending on the law of your country of origin are required. The papers from a number of countries of origin must also be checked for authenticity by the German Embassy.

Nevertheless, you will surely overcome this obstacle, as many others before you, but experience has shown that it can take quite a bit of time.

Legal situation after marriage

After the marriage the legal situation is as follows: According to § 31 (1) German Residence Act the refugee has to be granted a residence permit if he married a German. After a period of 3 years, he has to be granted an unlimited settlement permit according to § 31 (2) German Residence Act if the marriage has lasted that long and the spouses do not live permanently apart. That is what we hope for you. For this it is necessary that a marital cohabitation is led.

Thus, both spouses should be registered at the same address. You should only be registered at different places with valid reasons (e.g. studies in another city, work during the week in another city, too small apartment in case of intended apartment search). Living together is legally not the same as cohabitation. However, unpleasant inquiries from the foreigners’ authority are always to be expected. This is to avoid fake marriages. Hence, you are allowed – if not obliged – to move in together and this may also be in another city.

In order to travel abroad, you must comply with the respective entry regulations of each country (e.g. is a visa required?). In general, a refugee may travel abroad with his or her residence permit and a passport (either the domestic passport, the blue passport according to the Geneva Refugee Convention or the so-called gray passport). The residence permit according to § 28 German Residence Act (spouse of a German citizen) allows every kind of employment. Thus, your future husband can look for a job.

We wish you both good luck and success on your further way together!


This article was first published in German.

Rechte nach einer Heirat bei laufendem Asylverfahren


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Andere Kulturen und Menschen haben Angelika schon immer interessiert. Sie ist viel gereist und hat im Ausland gelebt. Als Rechtsanwältin ist sie auf Asyl- und Ausländerrecht spezialisiert. 2017 hat sie das Flüchtling-Magazin mit gegründet und ist seitdem für die Finanzierung und alle rechtlichen Aspekte zuständig. Bei kohero beantwortet sie die rechtlichen Fragen aus unserer Community. „kohero ist ein großartiges Medium für Geflüchtete und für Deutsche, um sich besser kennen zu lernen und die jeweils andere Kultur zu verstehen.“

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