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Family Reunion Visa for Dependents In Germany

Here, we will explain the purpose and scope of the family member reunification scheme for Germany, the eligibility criteria, and the application process. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers and solicitors in London.

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A key consideration for many from outside of the EEA/EU who make the decision to move to Germany is whether they can bring their dependant family members with them. Thankfully, this is possible under the German family reunification scheme. Here, we will explain how the family reunification process works in Germany, the eligibility criteria, and the application process.

Can My Dependant Family Members Join Me In Germany?

Yes, if you are a non-EU/EEA citizen living in Germany, you will be able to bring your spouse and children with you. It is important to note that if you are a national of a country outside of the EEA or EU but your family members are from a country in the EU/EEA, then they will be able to join you under the EU’s rules of free movement. This means they do not need to apply for a visa and can live, work, and study without being subject to any restrictions.

If your spouse and children are from a country outside of the EEA/EU, they will still be able to join you as long as you:

  • Have a right of residence in Germany – this includes those with a work permit, temporary residence, permanent residence, or an EU Blue Card for Germany.
  • Have suitable accommodation in Germany – evidence will be needed to show that you have suitable accommodation in Germany for you and your family. You will need to show that the property you have purchased or are renting has enough space/bedrooms. Specifically, you will need to show that each member of your family who will be joining you over the age of six has as least 12 square metres. Where your children are below the age of six, evidence of at least ten square metres of living accommodation is required.
  • Have sufficient health insurance and funds – the immigration authorities in Germany will want to see that you have sufficient health insurance for all of the family members who will be joining you in addition to sufficient living funds.

To qualify for family reunification in Germany, spouses must be at least 18 years of age. To bring your child/ren to Germany, they must be under 18 years of age and not be married, divorced or widowed.

In situations involving single parents bringing their children to join them in Germany, evidence of having gained legal custody will be essential.

Family members may also be required to meet the German language requirements. This means that spouses must meet the German language level A1 (CEFR) standard. This does not include spouses of and children of EU Blue Card holders. For children over 16 years of age, the language requirement is at level C1 (CEFR).

What Are The Benefits Of The Family Reunification Scheme In Germany?

There are several advantages to family reunification in Germany, including:

  • The freedom for your spouse to take up any type of employment in Germany
  • In certain circumstances, there is no requirement to speak German or meet the German language requirements if the family member living in Germany holds an EU Blue Card, an ICT (intra-company transfer) card, a mobile ICT card, or if:
    • They hold a residence permit in accordance with section18c paragraph 3, section18d, section18f or section 21 of the German Residence Act -AufenthG.
    • They are a national of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United States of America or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“British Citizens” and certain holders of other British citizenship from the Channel Islands and Gibraltar or the Isle of Man).
  • Where a spouse member is required to speak German, they will only need a basic knowledge of the German language.
  • A fast route to permanent settlement is available (33 or 21 months)

How Do I Apply For A Family Reunification Visa For Germany?

The first stage of the family reunification application process is to make an appointment with a German embassy in the country where your family members live. The embassy will book a time and date for your family members to visit and explain the documents they will need to bring, including:

  • Completed visa application form
  • Evidence of the German resident’s residency rights – (i.e. a copy of their residency permit)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate (for child applicants)
  • Proof of adoption (if applicable)
  • Evidence of custody and a letter of consent if needed
  • Proof of basic German language skills if needed.

At the appointment, the applicant will need to submit the required documents and pay the EUR75.00 application fee (this is EUR37.50 for children). If approved, the German immigration authorities will grant the required visas, at which time you can make arrangements for your family members to travel to Germany to be with you.

How Do I Apply For A Residence Permit In Germany?

Having arrived in Germany, your family members will then need to apply for a residence permit within three months with their local immigration office.

The steps involved in applying for a residence permit are as follows:

  • Make an appointment with a local foreigner’s authority office in Germany
  • Complete the application form for a residence permit for the purpose of family
  • reunification
  • Request a list of documents from the foreigner’s authority office; these documents must then be prepared and submitted – these may include:
    • passports
    • birth certificates
    • marriage certificate
    • evidence of sufficient funds to support the family – this may include copies of payslips
    • details of the family’s accommodation in Germany
  • Pay the application fee of EUR100.

Once approved, residence permits will then be issued for each family member.

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