Refugees applying for family reunification should know German

Germany asked refugees to know the language when applying for family reunification even if they come from war countries where of course there is no chance to have language classes.

According to Der Spiegel, Gökay Akbulut, the spokesperson of the Left Party (Die Linke) in charge of immigration policies, was told that even foreigners living in war zones who want to reunite with their spouse in Germany are required to speak the language.

The answer of the federal government to the motion moved by Akbulut said that spouses who want to benefit from family reunification are asked to prove that they have some knowledge of the German language, regardless of the conditions.

Akbulut drew attention to the case of a woman who lives in Yemen, where civil war is raging, who cannot get a visa to join her husband who is a refugee in Germany. Akbulut asked whether it was appropriate to insist on the language requirement no matter the reason for reunification, in this case to flee civil war from a country, Yemen, put to its knees also by Covid-19 and where there are no German courses.

According to Spiegel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs answer on behalf of the government argues that there are 'online learning courses', 'language learning books' or 'German learning opportunities'. In addition, the answer said that there is an opportunity to hold a language test in the "region" to establish the language level. However, it is also specified that the "region" actually means neighbouring countries Saudi Arabia or Oman.

In other words, what the answer says is that the person in question should go from war-thorn Yemen to Saudi Arabia to have her language level established.