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German Law/Extension of Residence/Work Permit



I am a Non-EU national living in Germany for 18 months. My residence/work permit expires in the second quarter of 2014. I am highly skilled (top university graduate and IT professional) and work for one of Germany's top companies with a gross income exceeding the national average. My company is recently going through a rough patch and hence making some people redundant. I am impacted by this change but getting lot of money as severance payment. My wife is British (currently not working as we recently had a baby).

Here's my question: since I am likely to leave the company before the end of my permit expiry, how can I renew my residence permit to ensure we continue to live in Germany and I can find new work. In my field, there are many opportunities, so finding new work is not the problem, but the timing.

Can I renew my residence permit easily based on my wife and daughter's EU status (we have a 6-month daughter and we live together)?

What do you advice. Your help will be much appreciated.

Kind regards

Hello Jossy,

as your wife and daughter are EU citizens, you can easily get an EU residence permit if they live in Germany and if one of them is exercising her freedom of movement rights as a European citizen.

As you said that your wife is not working, the easiest option would be for her to open a business (a simple freelancer registration is enough) or to enrol in university (most states in Germany don't charge tuition fees). Then she would be covered under the EU freedom of movement directive and that protection would extend to you as a spouse.

This EU residence permit is usually granted for 5 years, giving you far more time than necessary to find new employment.

For someone with your qualifications, the other option would be to inform the immigration office about your change in employment. You can point out that you are the spouse and the parent of an EU citizen residing in Germany, and the immigration office will then realize that you have the right to stay anyway, irrespective of your own income. I have a feeling that in this case, the people at the immigration office would be rather relaxed and may give you a few months to find new employment. In your case, there is no danger in discussion this openly with them.

I wish you all the best!

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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