I am married to a German and have been for 12 years. I have kids and we lived in third country for the first 6 years. We have been here on German soil for six years. I am not allowed even to have a permanent residency permit. I have to go every two years and prove that i am still married and explain what I work as. It is humiliating. Normal married persons, will receive the unrestricted residency after 3 years of marriage. Why after so long am I as an American forced to renew my residency so often and pay the fees and fill out the ogles of paperwork? Because neither I nor my German husband have permanent work contracts. we have earned good money but on temporary work contracts from 1 to 2 years. I have taught in German schools but am not good enough to be a permanent german resident. the bureaucracy would prefer that i clean toilets regularly and receive my regular paycheck earning less than earn more with a temporary work contract. I asked about being self employed and was laughed at. The lady said, well, if that were the case then everyone would register as a self employed vegetable seller. I was insulted and still am. I gave up teaching English and retrained and work a "regular" job now just for that reason. I hope to satisfy the stiff bureaucracy and finally become "permanent". I try not to dwell on all of this but it is frustrating and in the end, humiliating when I see so many here who don't contribute to the betterment of the society.