A Lawyer’s Take on Denied Visas at the German Embassy in Nairobi


A few months ago, I invited my Kenyan girlfriend to Germany. The German Embassy in Nairobi, however, didn’t issue the visa.

Reason: Applicant could not credibly prove that they would return. 

I think this is official arbitrariness, because my girlfriend has 2 small children, a permanent residence and has an income from self-employment. Unfortunately, my girlfriend can not present a steady income, because she is self-employed. 

I also deposited 2,500 Euros as collateral, to guarantee her return. The documents submitted were complete. I indicated that I would take over all costs,  and had already paid for health insurance at ADAC. The German Embassy in Nairobi had all these. 

I know that one can appeal, but the chances are still 50:50. 

What should I do to secure a visa for my girlfriend?

By the way: The appeal period has expired.

My girlfriend today heard from the BBC that there’s a new law that guarantees visas are issued.

We will probably have to try a application. Are there time limitations, I mean how many times can we apply? Are there time limits between the first and second attempt? 

How high are the costs of an appeal? How long does it take to get the result?

Bitte dringend um Hilfe.

In fact, visitors’ visas are regularly rejected from certain countries on the grounds that the return cannot be unequivocally proven. This is a discretionary decision of the Authority. After a rejection one can either apply for an appeal or take the complaint before the Administrative Court in Berlin. A refusal of the issuance of a tourist visa or a visa for any other purposes is however, excluded according to § 83 Absatz 1 Satz 1 AufenthG of the Residence Appeals. Instead an appeal would be best.

Through the appeal, the willingness to return can be proven through a permanent job with a good income and strong family bonds. Also evidence from the host that he will pay for the upkeep and any medical expenses in case of illness, can be helpful. From your details, I would have assumed  you would have had a good chance of getting the visa had you appealed the decision.

Considering the deadline has passed, I see no other way to oppose the rejection. I currently haven’t heard of any law that guarantees issuance of visas, this would also be hard to imagine.

There’s no set deadline between when you can reapply for a visa after rejection. However, the chances of success without new facts is naturally very low.

Since rejection on the basis of “lack of will to return” is primarily to prevent illegal activities in Germany, it would be important that your girlfriend gets a stable long-term employment and presents it to the embassy. The duration of the visa applied should not be too long, as this would otherwise speak out against the stability of the employment (it would be irregular to take a 3 month a holiday from a stable job).

An appeal doesn’t incur any costs, not unless you require the services of a lawyer which isn’t compulsory in most cases. The embassy basically has 3 months to process the application.

By Jan Wilking

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