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German Law/Work outside Germany on a resident permit


QUESTION: Dear Andreas,

My husband (a pakistani national) just got his resident permit for Germany for 3 years). He applied for a family reunion from Pakistan. My question is that can he work outside Germany and keep his resident permit, if he is currently working outside Germany. I did read a post of yours where you did mention that a spouse can work outside Germany and keep the status, but as per the information given to us by the competent authorities, my husband can only stay outside Germany for a maximum of 6 months in a 1 year given period. This would cause difficulties for him keeping his job. Can you please help us answer this question.

Our understanding was that he would only have to enter Germany every 6 months and can then go back. He does intend to learn the language and support us through his current job. Can you please assist as to what the fact of the matter is

ANSWER: Hello Sabrina,

the family reunion residence permit for Germany only entitles your husband to stay and work in Germany.

If he works in another country, then not only does he run the risk of losing the German residence permit due to the 6-month rule, but it could also be revoked completely if the German authorities find out about it and believe that he got the residence permit under false pretences. After all, a family reunion residence permit is supposed to reunited the family, not enable one spouse to move to another country.

I don't know what country your husband is working in, but if he works in another EU country, the easiest solution would be for you to move there with him. if you take up a job or register a business or study, your husband will be able to join you and get a work permit as the spouse of an EU citizen exercising her EU freedom of movement rights.

Andreas Moser

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your swift reply. I just want to know as to what circumstances would this clause apply to then. This is from one of the FAQs you answered.

Yes. 14 StAG opens this possibility if you can show that you have close ties to Germany despite your residence in another country.

14 StAG refers to citizenship, not to residence. It only means that somebody can apply for German citizenship despite not living in Germany if all the other conditions (especially the language requirement) are met. In addition, there need to be close ties to Germany (not only to some friends or a family in Germany), which is quite a high threshold.

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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