The biggest challenge of earning a Family Reunion Visa for Germany – learning German language

in Offbeat Marriage News



photo by weheartit

I speak fluently two languages – English and Filipino, I have two native dialects, Cebuano and Ilongo, from each of my parents’ side, I learned two more dialects when I grew up. When I went abroad, I learned yet another language just enough to survive. And then I married a Filipino-German who speaks only English and German. Communicating with him isn’t a problem, but joining him in his country is.

Don’t think I’m a linguist because I’m not. That’s basically the reason why processing for a family reunion visa for Germany leaves me tensed and feeling pressured.

One of the requirements for a residence permit for family reunion for spouses in Germany is proof of German knowledge. I must earn a certification for Start Deutsch 1 – Level A1 from an institution teaching and testing German according to the standards of the “Association of Language Testers in Europe” (ALTE).

After our wedding in December 2010, I immediately enrolled for course 1 Deutsch. Since I’m working during the week, I took the weekend classes, half day every Sunday. I completed the course in 10 weekends, that’s about three months.

I thought I learned enough that I went and took a schedule for the test but only to be horrified when I found out afterwards that what I’ve learned from course 1 is only 35% of the entire coverage of the test. I need to complete three more courses. That means nine more months!

I don’t have enough time. My working visa in Bangkok is relative to my working contract and it’s finishing in three months. I’m unlikely to extend my contract because I can’t bear to live another year away from my husband. An intensive 4 weeks German course isn’t even an option because classes are on weekdays.

My test schedule is April 25, that gives me 25 days left to prepare. There’s really no other option right now but to self-learn. I have the resources that I need – books, CDs, online websites and they actually suffice. But the biggest hurdle is boredom.

Learning grammar and memorizing doesn’t really appeal to me. That’s basically the reason why I chose to major Mathematics over English when my first passion is literary writing. I couldn’t stand grammar lectures. But here I am, gotta learn Grammatik!

I think that learning German is easier than learning Thai. Most of German words are similar to English only they’re spelled and pronounced differently. But generally, I can quickly identify what the words mean by comparing them with their English words counterparts. Unlike in Thai, the words are tonal and one word gets different meaning depending on how you raise your voice. Until now, when I order chicken, I still get an egg or vice versa just because of how I say “Kay” or “kai”. Let’s not even talk about Thai script to spare us from headaches!

The most challenging about learning German however is memorizing the articles for nouns. In English we use common articles such as a and the. In German, every noun gets a unique article der, das, die, ein, eine and don’t even dare to ask what’s the rule and when to use them. There’s no rule, just memorize them! So if we’re talking about food and you want the German for banana, you say die Banane, for Apple – der Apfel, for bread – das Brot. Wonder when to use die, der, das? The answer is, just like that.

Will I pass the test? Will I get the visa on time? I’ll give you an update in 25 days. If I do pass, then that gives me the right to write the article “Tips on passing the Deutsch 1 – Level A1 so you can be with your spouse in Germany!

But in case I don’t pass, there’s still another way for me to get the visa. I’ll ask my hubby to speed up and make me pregnant. When the baby is soon due, the German embassy is then forced to issue me a visa. But I don’t really think that’s a good idea. Moving to a new territory, meeting his friends and relatives with a bloated tummy isn’t really sexy. But I’ll let you know.

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Hello Gleenn,

How did your exam go? I am at the moment studying german as well for a visa requirement. I would like to know how you get on and what are your tips in studying german in such a short time because i need all the help i can get. I’m a filipina living in the UK. my fiancee is german and we plan to get married here in the UK and then i will apply for a residence permit to be with him. I don’t have much time as well. i might need to take the test some time in june. i don’t even know how long it will take for the visa. i need all the help. ich verusche, zu Deutsch lernen. Help!


Hi Arwen, I had the test yesterday and it really exhausted me. But believe me, you can do it even with such a short preparation. If you’ll take the test in June, you even have more time to self learn. I did serious learning for only about 2 weeks because I was so busy, I’ll write a post tonight about how to do it and will publish it shortly so you can check on all the links. My results will come on Thursday, but I’ve got good feelings. Wish you the best.


Hi Gleen!!
Best of luck for your result. Though I had to add after reading yr post that this is not the hardest thing. The hardest thing will be the wait, once you’ve applied for the visa. I’m currently in that stage. Passed the test way back in Feb, but their requirements just keep on coming. Haven’t even been able to apply yet. Even after you apply, I don’t know about your country but in my country its clearly written that that process can take upto 6 months and sadly we already have a kid, whose early days her dad is missing.
Anyways Wish you all the best for your married life…


Is that true Madiha? From which country are you? I can’t possibly have a 6 months wait. That would be too long for me. My friend, she’s Thai received the visa in 3 weeks. But I’m a Filipina who’s living in Bangkok.


Besides, I was told by my husband that if the foreign wife is pregnant or have a baby, the processing is supposed to be fast.


@matilda: i would like to know as well which country you are applying. I will take the test early June, get married in the middle of june then process my visa. I hope i will get it. i can’t afford to wait for 6 months as well. applying for the visa usually depends on the requirements of the state in germany where you plan to live. i am applying in edinburgh and its a bit vague what they want. so i am constantly pestering them about the requirements! well, best of luck on your application.

@Gleen: I will look forward to your tips. I will go to germany for a week. next month, i will use that time to really learn. so, i hope this will help me as well.

good luck on your result!


Well Gleenn I’m hoping you’ll be luckier then me. I just read your for Family Visa from Bangkok and it says:

” the visa application can be granted locally (in about 3 days) or can be sent to Berlin for decision (delay of about 6 weeks).”

In our country i.e. Pakistan they do some verification to ensure that the marriage actually took place and is not a fake marriage. This verification can take up to 6 months but yes even in our country we have heard cases of people getting visa in 2 to 4 weeks.

For all those who still have to give the German Lang test, I got 87% in that. The trick is to learn the Vocabulary really well. The articles don’t really matter that much for Level 1.

For letter writing focus on understanding the question, mostly you can extract the sentences to be written from the question itself.
Just learn the grammar properly for Modal Verb sentences. you can convey almost everything using that format, with minimal grammatical mistakes.

Hope all of you are united with your husbands soon!!!!!


thank you for the tip! i heard in the philippines it takes about 3 – 4 months for verification. well, here in edinburgh, they said, it really depends on the state in germany. anyhow, good luck to all of us. thanks for all the help!


hi Madiha and arwen, I passed the test. I’ll tell you more about it in a post.

Arwen, pls be patient, I’m writing the article and I hope o finish it soon. 🙂

White Bhabi

Wie Gehts?
Sprechen sie gut Deutsch? Ich bin Auslander und spreche nicht gut Deutsch.

Lol, I took 3 years and that’s all I remember. Random words here and there. Anyway, I haven’t seen an update on your test and it’s been over 25 days. How did it go?



Hi White Bhabi, I did pass the test and was so happy. It’s such a relief to get over it. I wrote an update about it here:


please help me how to pass the exam start deutsch a1 its difficult exam and if i’m college level no need to take the exam? how to apply fiance visa Germany no need certificate?


Hi Nimfa, I’ve written the guide on How to pass the Deutsch A1 Certificate test. Please click the link to read how I did it.

Regarding the question of whether you’re exempted to do it or not, read the discussion about this topic here. I was seeking this information as well, but I eventually decided to take and pass the test so that I need not pray for the competent German Aliens Office in Germany to decide to exempt me from this requirement, which I believe will cause me more stress. 🙂

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