German Immigration Law: How to challange the decisions of the German Embassy (Remonstration)
Rechtsanwalt Tieben

Rechtsanwalt Helmer Tieben
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Tel.: 0221 - 80187670

Immigration law
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von: Helmer Tieben

If your application for a German residence title like the Visa has been rejected, there are two possibilities to challenge the decision:

A.) Remonstration

First of all, you can file a remonstration against the refusal of the respective embassy.

The remonstration is an appeal, i.e. an informal legal remedy by means of which the person affected by the refusal presents himself to the authority.

This legal remedy must firstly always include evidence of the person’s identity:

      • Surname, first name, date of birth, place of birth and passport number;
      • Date of the rejection notice;
      • Address for service (street, house, flat, post code, country, etc.); if available, fax number and e-mail address,
      • Personal signature (in case of remonstration by third parties: their personal signature as well as submission of a written and signed power of attorney)

Apart from this evidence of identity, this “remonstration” should, depending on country of origin,

      • contain a detailed explanation of why the rejection is not justified.
      • contain detailed reasons why the applicant wishes to travel to Germany and why the stay is important to him.
      • contain further documents that support the argumentation and were not yet available when the application was filed.

When drafting the remonstration, you must make certain that the arguments presented invalidate the reasons given by the embassy in justification of its rejection.

Once the remonstration has been received in due time and form by the embassy or diplomatic mission, the visa application will be reviewed in depth again. In the remonstration procedure, all new documents that are subsequently submitted and the contents of the remonstration letter are taken into account.

If the embassy or mission decides that it can grant the requested visa after completion of the remonstration procedure, you will need to make another appointment where you must appear for issuance of the visa.

If the embassy does not consider the remonstration to be justified, it will issue a so-called remonstration notice, presenting the reasons for refusal in detail.

B.) Action before the Administrative Court of Berlin

In addition, it is possible to lodge an action with the Administrative Court of Berlin (Verwaltungsgericht Berlin), Kirchstraße 7, 10557 Berlin.

Hence, rejection notices from the embassy are always accompanied by advice on legal remedies detailing how to bring an administrative court action.

The Administrative Court has subject-matter jurisdiction, as foreign citizens’ law is a field of special administrative law. The Administrative Court of Berlin also has territorial jurisdiction since the embassies are under the authority of the German Foreign Office and the German Foreign Office is headquartered in Berlin.

The length of such legal proceedings is difficult to predict; in our experience, a decision may be reached within a few months but it can sometimes take longer.

If an accelerated decision is necessary for certain reasons, you can also apply for interim relief, in which case a (preliminary) decision may be available after only a few days.

C.) Prospects of success

Whether an action will be successful or not depends on the facts of the individual case – so there is no universal answer to this question.

In judicial proceedings it is examined in particular whether,

      • the embassy/diplomatic mission determined the facts correctly,
      • the embassy/diplomatic mission committed procedural errors relevant to the decision,
      • the embassy/diplomatic mission failed to observe the applicable law in its decision on the application, by violating generally applicable assessment standards or basing its decision on extraneous considerations (Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (OVG Berlin Brandenburg) (Senate), decision of 19.03.2015 – OVG 11 N 107.14).

The European Court of Justice ruled on 19 December 2013 (case C-84/12) that a Schengen visa may be refused only on the grounds expressly provided for in the European Union Visa Code. However, national authorities have a great degree of freedom in determining whether one of these grounds for refusal applies.

If a risk of unlawful immigration is proven, the authorities must refuse the Schengen visa if there are reasonable doubts as to the applicant’s intention to return (cf. ground for refusal in Art. 32 lit. b of the Visa Code).

Neither does there have to be absolute certainty about the applicant’s unwillingness to return, but reasonable doubts about his intentions to return to his home country suffice.

The competent authorities must also conduct an individual examination of the application and

      • the general situation in the applicant’s country of residence,
      • his personal circumstances, in particular his family, social and economic situation,
      • any previous lawful or unlawful stays in a Member State, and
      • take into account his ties in the country of residence and in the Member States.

D.) Overview of German residence titles for third country nationals (non EU members):


If you need help with your immigration law issue, please Rechtsanwalt Koeln Tiebencall Mr. Helmer Tieben. His main areas of expertise include immigration law, corporate law, debt collection and judicial representation among others. You can reach Mr. Helmer Tieben under 0049 (0) 221 – 80187670.

German lawyers giving legal advice on German Immigration Law

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  • Hello there!
    I applied for German tourist visa in October and got rejected. I appealed and I got a email from the embassy saying to be there along with passport. Could you please tell me is there a chance to get the visa? If yes, What kind of questions they might ask to give visa?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you.

  • Thank you for the reply and suggestion for proceeding to court for non-recognition of our documents by the embassy for remonstration. Would you be able to proceed with us? Also, we didn’t use the word remonstration in our letter rather we used the word recheck of the documents with reasoning and evidence and all the supporting documents on 12th July 2023. I hope that wording doesn’t change the legal obligation.

  • Our Family Reunion visa was rejected due to insufficient income for a couple livelihood. It was because Local immigration authorities calculated wrongly the income and didn’t consider the operating expenses subtracted from my income of self-employment. My Tax advisor wrote one third income subtraction in footnote but was ignored. As a result, there is a lack of sufficient income by 200 Euros. Applied for reconsideration at embassy via email for 5 weeks with evidence and declaration by Tax advisor. But embassy never gave any acknowledgement even though asked them twice to acknowledge that the documents arrived for remonstration to be considered. Is it normal for embassy not to acknowledge the documents received for remonstration via email at Delhi Embassy?

    1. the embassy is legally obliged to recognize every document you issued to them. If they do not do it, you can start court proceedings at the court in Berlin (Verwaltungsgericht Berlin)

  • Hello Sir i just want to know how much time takes german Embassy for Remonstration process .
    i have submitted my Remonstration appeal on 25.1.2023
    but still waiting for their response .my visa category was work visa sponserd by a german company .
    thank you in advance .

  • I swnd remonstration to Islamabad embassy since 1 month passed but i did not get any reply yet . I get reply just that they receieve my remonstration and will process as dast they can jut it can take up to 9 month . But my ticket and flight are after 3 month what gona happend i really dont knownif any one klow how long they take time to reply romanization

  • What does it mean- if the embassy has asked you to submit your passport after remonstration has been “processed “?

  • Hi if i need to submit a remonstration where should i submit? in the embassy of Bangalore? how can i get an appointment for this ?

    1. You need to send the Remonstration letter to the embassy that submitted the rejection letter. If that was the German consulate in Bangalore then you have to submit it there. Best regards, lawyer Tieben

  • Your mother needs to challange the decsion by sending a Remonstration letter. In this letter she will have to show the embassy that she has strong ties to her home country (family ties (husband, children, etc.)) and/or economic ties (house, flat, job, etc.), Best regards. lawyer Tieben

  • German law says that the German embassy has maximum three month to issue a decision (Remonstrationsbescheid).

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