Family reunification

wahido • 5 March 2023

I was born and live in Germany and got married recently. My wife lives in Afghanistan and I want to bring her to germany. She just got her passport made and I guess the next step is apply for a visa either in Islamabad or Tehran. I did my research and went through the posts on the forum and the waiting time currently is  at least 12 up to 24 months. This is very upseting as you can imagine.

Another problem is that schools are prohibited to woman. I have read that you have advised people on here that they could try to learn online and try their luck in an embassy.
Are there any news regarding the language barrier?

And I wanted to also ask what my options are to get her to Germany as soon as possible?

Thank you in advance

Answers (3)


Hello wahido,
thank you for reaching out to us. Yes, indeed the visa waiting time for family reunification can take quite a while or Afghan nationals and is very frustrating for many who want to bring their family from Afghanistan to Germany.
The process of the family reunification depends on your status in Germany. For example if you are a German citizen the requirements for family reunification are a bit different, to when you have a residence permit.
As a German citizen, usually, you do not have to show that you have enough income to bring you wife here. You can find more information on the requirements for family reunification on our info page:
Among other documents, your wife will have to show your marriage certificate and indeed she will need to show some basic level of German knowledge. She is no longer required to show an official German certificate e.g. from the Goethe Institute. However she must proof that she knows basic German A1 level, either at her appointment at the embassy or through taking a course and bringing a certificate. In our chapter Learn German we have a section on online courses, when you scroll down. These might be useful resources your wife can use to learn German:

I would also advise you to see if there are any options to speed up the process and contact this counseling center for further advice. You can reach them via phone or e-mail.
I hope that you wife can soon reunite with you in Germany!
If you have any further questions, I am always happy to help. Please let me know if you were able to get useful information from the counseling center I suggested.

Best wishes


Thank you very much for your quick response Yara.
May I ask what your source of information is about not needing the certificate for A1?
And do you have heard of any waiting time for Tehran and Islamabad regarding how long I can expect it to be?


Hi wahido, sure, there are a couple of sources I found.
In general, we have the information that for Afghans living in Afghanistan the official Association of Language Testers in Europe (ATLE) Certificate is not required. As the Goethe Institute is closed. But your wife is required to show that she has achieved A1 German level through other certificates and prove that she has made the effort to learn German. This could be for example through tandems, apps and online courses. If you have some German knowledge, you can also help your wife and teach her some German.
The following information can be read on the information page Afghanistan (See the Chapter about family reunification)…
You can read the information also in Pashto and Dari
And on the refugee Council in Niedersachsen they also try and answer the question if your spouse needs a German A1 Certificate or not…
Unfortunately, this information is only in German. If I find any other sources, I will also post them here. The question about the German language skills also depends on your status. For example,
if you are a citizenship holder from another EU country your spouse do not have to proof any German level.

Regarding the waiting time, unfortunately, as you have read in the forum that some people have been waiting for almost 2 years or longer. This is the worst-case scenario, but the waiting time is at least 12months, I would assume. Depending on your status. It might be a bit faster if you have a German passport. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you more about the waiting time.
But I would recommend also contacting the counseling center that I mentioned, maybe they have some more information regarding the waiting time.
I hope this reply was useful.
Best wishes

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