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German Law/divorce and residence permit


QUESTION: Hello.. I came to germany from Pakistan in jan 2 2011 on study visa. In 2012 jan 6 I got married with a german women in denmark.

We had started living together in 19.apr.2012. Now she wants to divorce me. After applying for divorce do I have to leave the country permanently or there is possibility of my visa as on single status. I have been working in a company and a regular tax payer.

Please help if there is any way. I could stay in Germany

ANSWER: You can only get your own and independent residence permit after having been married and having lived together in Germany for at least 3 years ( 31 I Nr. 1 AufenthG).

This would mean that you would still need to live together as a couple until April 2015.

If this won't be an option, you have two other options:
(1) As you had a student visa originally, you may want to return to university and get another student visa.
(2) Depending on your job and your income, you may qualify for a residence permit based on your employment.

Andreas Moser

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

QUESTION: Thankyou for your reply Andreas. I have heard from my colleage that I am eligible to apply for passport since I have done their language course B1 and orientation course. And legally I reside here from 2011 jan and two years if marriage. Is this information true? One of my friend git even individual residence visa in 2007 after living with german wife for two years and same thing happen that they divorced. Please. Clear my point if the law has changed. Or the information is untrue

The required time to live together according to 28 AufenthG was increased from 2 to 3 years in the past few years.

To apply for German citizenship as a spouse of a German citizen, you do indeed have to show 3 years of residence and you need to have been married for the past 2 years. As you have the B1 and the integration course certificates, you can apply for German citizenship already!

For more on German citizenship, see my FAQ and my infographic on the subject:

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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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