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Do I have to return to the U.S after 90 days in Germany?

by Sarah
(Germany)

Question: I am living with my fiance in Germany. He is in the military. We are not married yet, therefore we are not sponsored through the military for me to be here. We are renting a room from a friend off base. My passport allows me to be in Germany for a 30-day period. I intend on flying back to the United States once my 30 days is up here, but I am unsure of the amount of time that I must spend out of the country before I can return, or if there is even an existing time limit.


Answer: Germany is party to the Schengen Agreement. Travelers for business or tourism are permitted to stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a six month period. Once the 90 day maximum is reached, leaving for a brief period and re-entering the area does not entitle a traveler to 90 more days within the Schengen states. The traveler would have to remain outside of the Schengen zone for 90 days before reentering without a visa.

So, the answer to your questions are 1) "Yes" you have to leave Germany at the end of the 90-day period and 2) you have to remain outside the country for at least 90 days.

The only way to remain in Germany or re-enter in less than 90 days would be to either get married or apply for a permanent resident visa. Anyone who wants to stay in Germany for longer than 90 days must apply for a residence permit. You can find more information here:

Permanent Residence Visa to Germany

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Exception to the 90 days staying in Germany
by: Anonymous

Question: I am American and stay in Germany with my German spouse. My 90 days will end soon. I applied for a job with the American military and I want to ask if the date of signing the contract will change my status or my first work day?

Answer: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Berlin or any of the U.S. Consulates in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich for assistance regarding your concern.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 7 and 10 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

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Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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