How Much Income Suffices for a Visa?

Aysha has been trying to apply for a visa to move together with her mother living in Germany. The lower courts held that her income of € 986 does not suffice to cover her costs of living. The BVerwG clarified this situation on August 26, 2008 (re 1 C 32.07).

After Ayha's parents were divorced, she remained with her mother. After the second marriage of her mother, Aysha remained in Turkey while her mother followed her husband to Germany. Since 2000, Aysha had been vainly applying for a visa in order to move to her mother. The German embassy denied her the visa because, the income statement of her mother was found to be false and the proof of secured livelihood (§2 III AufenthG) was not furnished. Therefore she sought legal recourse.

The law in §2 III AufenthG provides that one's livelihood is secured when the income generally suffices to finance life and health insurance costs without public aid. The court held that to determine whether or not the income is sufficient: see whether the prospective need can be met with the actual income. The need is compromised by the regular standard §§20, 28 SGB-II for the family plus the costs for accommodation which totals in this case, € 986. The next step to determine to see if the income is sufficient is to subtract all deductibles mentioned in §11 II SGB-II. The income of Aysha's mother did not meet the statutorily required need of € 986 for both of them.

Aysha however argued that the deductible in §§11 II 1 no. 6, 30 SGB-II had nothing to do with applying for a residence permit. The court held that even though this deductible leads to a fictive reduction of the income and actually only aims at serving social and labor policies and not as an income, it may be nevertheless be implemented to determine sufficient income for residential purposes (§§5 I no. 1, 2 III AufenthG). The most important prerequisite in preventing any claims on public welfare fund is to ensure that the alien can secure his or her own livelihood. It does not matter if they really make demands on welfare or not. This legitimate, legal interest states that the livelihood will not be sufficient if one needs funds (welfare) for which no premiums have been paid in the past. Only by considering a prospective need as computed through the welfare law (Social Code Book II), will this goal be achieved.