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Germany Residence Permit for Family Reunion
German residence titles in this category are given for the purpose of family reunion.

Eligible persons for residence titles for such purpose are

  • Foreign spouses
  • Minor unmarried children aged 16 or over
  • The parent of a German minor child (who has no one else to take care of),
  • In some particular cases distant family members of either German nationals or foreign persons living in Germany

For the purpose of family, a temporary residence permit is given to the needful foreigners wishing to join their family members living in Germany, and a residence permit is given to foreigners already in Germany and seeking to protect a marriage and the family.

There are different rules for foreign families joining a German citizen family member, or a foreign family member living in Germany.

Foreign Family Members Joining a German Citizen or a Resident in Germany

The foreigner of this category can be a spouse, a minor unmarried child, or a parent of a minor unmarried German child living in Germany in need of care and custody.

The residence permit for family reasons of this situation is usually issued for up to 1 initial year, with a possibility to be extended for all the time needed while the family keeps living together.

Requirements for residence permit for family reasons (in this case):

  • The German family member has lived mostly in Germany
  • The German family member has the necessary money to cover their own living costs and their joined family members
  • There are no reasons for the candidate’s visa removal
  • The candidate has a nationality and an identity already
  • The candidate does not qualify to exit Germany, or to return to a foreign country
  • The candidate does not have any residence permit and their stay in Germany does not represent any risk to the public interests of the country
  • The candidate has a recognized passport or other valid travel document

The settlement permit for family purposes (of this case) is given only if:

  • After 3 years of living in Germany with a residence permit, the family continues to be together
  • The candidate has reached enough knowledge of the German language
  • There is no reason for residence title cancelation

Family Members Joining a Foreign National Living in Germany

In this case, the family member to be joined must have a German settlement permit, an EU long-term residence permit, EU Blue Card, or a residence permit.

Generally, with some exceptions, the foreign family members to be joined must have the needed living money for themselves and their joined dependent family member.

The residence permit for family purposes of this case is issued up to the validity of the residence title of the family member to be joined, but it can also be issued for 1 initial year.

Specifically, the foreign family member to be joined must hold any of these German residence titles:

  • A settlement permit was issued without being in conflict with the law
  • Has now a residence permit according to and the marriage existed already in a country of the EU from which the foreigner has an EU long-term residence permit
  • Has now a residence permit and is allowed to stay more than 1 year in Germany, and the marriage was done before the foreigners has taken that residence title
  • Has now a residence permit as a foreign researcher engaged in a research project, or as a foreigner under humanitarian protection
  • Has now a settlement permit
  • Has now an EU Blue Card
  • Has now an EU long-term residence permit
  • Has now or had before a residence permit for 2 years

There are exceptions from such rules for:

  • Highly qualified foreigners who were married when they had their residence title in Germany
  • Foreign spouses having physical, mental or psychological disorders or disabilities

Residence Permit for Family Members of a German Citizen or of Foreigners Living in Germany


This residence permit is for foreign family members of the German citizens, or of foreigners living in Germany with a valid residence title.

Such a residence permit is given to candidates whose foreign family members already living in Germany, are there with a residence title for studies or to get education in general, for the recognition of their professional qualifications, to work as visiting scholar or academic staff, or to work as a teacher.

The fee for this residence permit for the initial application is 56 – 100 Euro for adults and 28 – 50 Euro for minors. For extension is 49 – 96 Euro for adults, and 24.5 – 48 Euro for minors. For Turkish citizens of all ages and application types is reduced up to 28.8 Euro, meanwhile, is free to foreigners applying as persons in receipt of benefits from SGB II, XII, or as asylum seekers.

Candidates eligible to take this residence permit are: foreign spouses/ same-sex partners; foreign minor, unmarried children of German citizen and of foreigners living in Germany with a valid residence title; foreign parents of a German citizen; foreign parent (s) of a foreign child in Germany with a temporary valid residence title as resettled refugee, as an asylum and who is allowed to work, as a refugee, or as one of the aforementioned persons with permanent settlement permit (Only if in Germany does not live any parent who can offer care for the child); foreign parent (s) of a foreign child with settlement permit (section 26, paragraph 4 of the Residence act) with no parent present in Germany to take care of them.

Requirements

General:

  • A duly completed and signed residence permit application form “Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels” – only for the initial application
  • A valid national passport
  • One recent biometric photo
  • Documents to show their residence in Germany
  • Home registration certificate “Meldebestätigung” (received by the Residence Registration Office“Einwohnermeldeamt”)
  • Rent agreement + A confirmation letter of accommodation “Einzugsbestätigung” issued by the homeowner
  • A covered health insurance

Persons who have a covered statutory health insurance, different from private health insurance holders do not have to extend their health insurance periodically – not needed for family members or German citizens making the initial application

Specific

  • ID card, or “Personalausweis” – Personal ID card (for a German citizen family member)
  • Child’s ID card “Kinderausweis” (for a German child)
  • Certificate of marriage, or Certificate of partnership (with an apostille – if the marriage/partnership was done out of Germany)
  • Certificate of birth of foreign minor child – only for initial application
  • Certificate of custody (if the child’s parents are not married, and when the candidate is a foreign minor child, and their parents are foreigners also) – only for the initial application
  • Documents showing the costs of the accommodation – only for family members of German citizens making the initial application only
  • Rent agreement + monthly rent expenses
  • Purchase agreement on a residential property + monthly costs related to the home ownership
  • Documents to confirm having enough money to live as a family sharing the same home (each contributing family member has to submit the needed documents to confirm the financial support offered in their shared home) – not required for family members of German citizens making the initial application
  • Work contract + recent valid employment certificate + salary slips of latest 6 months + certificate for paying pension contribution (for extension only) – for an employed family member
  • Filled and signed audit report “Prüfungsbericht” issued by a tax specialist, auditor or tax law attorney – for a self-employed family member
  • A document showing that family member is in receipt of benefits (money and other) under German Social Code SGB II or XII, or as asylum seekers
  • Certificates for being enrolled as a school student (for minor children- under the age of 14)
  • Certificates to confirm participation in the integration course – only needed for extension, not for the initial application

Settlement permit for foreign family members of the German citizens

This settlement permit is for the foreign family members (spouse, same-sex partner, child, or parent) of the German citizens, having lived in Germany with a residence permit for minimum 3 years in the same home with their German citizen family member and still continue living together.

The period of 3 years includes also the period spent in Germany with a long-stay visa if since the entrance in Germany the candidate have been living with their German national relative.

They must also have the needed understanding of the German language, of at least B1 level of the CEFR, as well as enough money to live and accommodate in Germany.

The fee for settlement permit is 113 Euro; in case of rejection is 56.50 Euro, meanwhile, for is 28.8 Euro for the Turkish people.

Requirements

General:

  • A duly completed and signed permanent residency permit application form “Antrag auf Erteilung der Niederlassungserlaubnis
  • A valid national passport and a residence permit
  • One recent biometric photo
  • Personal interview upon a preset appointment

The German family member should take part in the interview also, and usually their mother must accompany the child

  • A covered health insurance

Persons who have a covered statutory health insurance, different from private health insurance holders, they do not have to extend their health insurance from time to time.

  • Documents to show their residence in Germany
  • Home registration certificate “Meldebestätigung” (received by the Residence Registration Office “Einwohnermeldeamt”)
  • Rent agreement + A confirmation letter of accommodation “Einzugsbestätigung” issued by the homeowner
  • Declaration of criminal record – showing no criminal history

Specific:

  • Documents showing enough money to live and accommodate (of either German citizen or foreign spouse)
  • Work contract + recent valid employment certificate + salary slips of latest 6 months + pension insurance activity – for an employed candidate
  • Filled and signed audit report form “Prüfungsbericht” completed by tax expert, CPAs or authorized persons+ documents required within such report (i.e. The extract of business registration) + last tax notice – for a self-employed or freelancer candidate
  • Pension notice “Rentenbescheid” showing the type of pension, start of pension, the amount of it and the duration of it (when relevant) – for a retired candidate
  • The pension awarding document as a disabled person or as a person with reduced earning abilities, or A letter of judgment on persons from the Federal Employment Agency, or A medical certificate from a specialist doctor confirming candidate’s level of disability – for a fully-disabled or partly-disabled person
  • Documents showing the costs of the accommodation
  • Rent agreement + monthly rent expenses
  • Purchase agreement on a residential property + monthly costs related to the home ownership
  • Documents confirming the integration in German life (any of the following)
  • Integration Course Certificate – showing complete participation in the course organized by the BAMF
  • Document showing results reached in final tests in the Integration Course
  • Other documents/ways to show the level of understanding the German language of minimum level B1
  • Document showing receipt of benefits
  • Notification of particular benefit receipt, or other similar document – for a candidate in receipt of child assistance, child allowance, parental allowance, childcare allowance, or other benefits
  • Document showing education level of a foreign adult child of a German citizen, or of a foreign parent of an adult German
  • The certificate showing successful participation at a school or in a professional training (minimum requirement)
  • Declaration of criminal record – showing no criminal history

Foreign Spouses

Generally, husbands or wives of the foreign persons living in Germany with a residence title are likely to be given a residence title also.

Both spouses have to be minimum 18 and the joining spouse has to have a minimum basic level of German language knowledge.

There are cases when the spouse can autonomously (not for family reunion reasons) get a residence title extension or new residence title, as in the following cases:

  • If the marriage ends after spouses have lived together in Germany for minimum 3 years – the residence permit can be extended for one more 1 year
  • If the foreign partner who held either a residence permit, settlement permit, EU long-term residence permit died, after some time spouses have lived together in Germany – the residence permit can be extended for one more 1 year
  • If the marriage ends after spouses have lived together in Germany and the spouse’s living costs are guaranteed by own funds of the foreigner – the settlement permit can be given to the spouse

Foreign Minor Children

Foreign minor unmarried children aged 16 or older of the foreign persons living in Germany with a residence title generally are likely to be given a German residence title also.

Such children either can join their parent in Germany or be born there.

Children born out of a marriage are given the same rights as children born within a marriage.

A parent of a foreign minor child is given a residence permit in cases when their child is living alone in Germany lacking to get the needed care.

Residence Permit For a Foreign Child Born in Germany

This residence permit is for foreign persons born in Germany, and whose parent (s) lived in Germany with any valid residence title (residence permit, EU Blue Card, settlement permit, EU long-term residence permit, right of residence or permanent residence permit) at the time their child was born.

The period of stay given to the holder of this residence title does not exceed the allowed period of stay in Germany of their parent (s).

The fee to apply for this residence title is 28 Euros, and is free for Turkish people, or for persons who get benefits (money and other) under German Social Code SGB II or XII, or as asylum seekers.

This residence title is in the form of a sticky label into the national passport of the holder, and is usually is issued on the day of application.

Requirements

General

  • One recent biometric photo
  • Personal interview upon a preset appointment

Specific

  • A valid national passport of their parent (s) showing their valid residence permit
  • A valid national passport of the candidate (child), or a valid national passport of their parent in which the candidate is registered at
  • Certificate of birth

Settlement permit for foreign children 16 and older

This permanent residence permit is for foreign children having lived in Germany for minimum 5 years with a residence permit and they are of age between 16 and 18, either born in Germany or having joined their parents living there.

The candidate for this residence title must also have the needed German language skills and must either currently participating in studies to get either an educational, work-related, or university degree. If none of them does not apply, the candidate must have their living and accommodation covered – without needing to require support through use of public benefits.

The fee to apply is 113 Euro (for adults), 55 Euro (for minors), meanwhile, is reduced up to 28.8 Euros for the Turkish people.

Requirements

General:

  • A duly completed and signed permanent residency permit application form “Antrag auf Erteilung der Niederlassungserlaubnis
  • A valid national passport and a residence permit
  • One recent biometric photo
  • Personal interview upon a preset appointment, accompanied by parents

For divorced parents sharing custody of their child, both parents have to attend the interview with their child, and if one of the parents cannot attend the interview, they have to give a written authorization for application, to the other parent

  • Documents to show their residence in Germany
  • Home registration certificate “Meldebestätigung” (received by the Residence Registration Office “Einwohnermeldeamt”)
  • Rent agreement + A confirmation letter of accommodation “Einzugsbestätigung” issued by the homeowner
  • A covered health insurance

Persons who have a covered statutory health insurance, different from private health insurance holders, they do not have to extend their health insurance from time to time.

  • Declaration of criminal record – showing no criminal history

Specific:

  • Documents showing enough money to live and accommodate
  • Work contract + recent valid employment certificate + salary slips for the entire period spent with the last extension of the residence permit – for an employed candidate
  • A duly completed and signed audit report form “Prüfungsbericht” completed by tax expert, CPAs or authorized persons+ documents required within such report (i.e. The extract of business registration) + last tax notice – for a self-employed
  • Documents showing parent’s living costs – for a minor with no academic or professional education
  • Documents showing education of the candidate
  • Past and present school certificates – for school pupils
  • Training agreement, past and present certificates of training – for candidates enrolled in professional (job-related) training courses
  • Present enrollment certificate + documents confirming progress in studies (i.e. Transcript of grades, a document showing the list of the passed exams, or otherwise) – for candidates studying in university
  • Documents showing the understanding of the German language
  • A school-leaving certificate or else

Residence Permit for the Family Members of the EU/EEA Citizens

Such residence permit is for foreign family members (spouse, same-sex partner, parents or juvenile single children) of the EU and EEA citizens (excluding the Germans) who wish to stay in Germany for family reasons.

The period of stay holders of this residence title get is not more than 5 years.

The fee to apply for this residence permit is 10 -28 Euro.

When a person gets this residence title, they will habitually get the same rights as their EU/EEA citizen family members (excluding the Germans) – such as the right to move, work, open/run a business, as well as to stay unemployed.

Requirements

General

  • A valid national passport
  • A duly completed and signed residence permit application form “Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels
  • One recent biometric photo
  • A covered health insurance

Persons who have a covered statutory health insurance, different from private health insurance holders do not have to extend their health insurance periodically.

  • Documents to confirm having enough money to live and accommodate in Germany
  • Recent bank statements
  • A letter of commitment from a sponsor in Germany
  • Documents to show their residence in Germany
  • Home registration certificate “Meldebestätigung” (received by the Residence Registration Office“Einwohnermeldeamt”)
  • Rent agreement + A confirmation letter of accommodation “Einzugsbestätigung” issued by the homeowner
  • Personal interview upon a preset appointment

Specific

  • Documents showing that the holder and their EU/EEA citizen (excluding Germans) live together in the same home
  • Documents confirming relationship with the EU/EEA citizen (excluding the Germans)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Certificate of a same-sex registered partnership
  • Certificate of birth
  • Documents confirming the right to free movement of EU/EEA citizen (excluding the Germans)
  • For an employed candidate – a letter from the employer (showing candidate’s part in the company as their employee, the type of job, and the work contract length)
  • For self-employed candidate – A business registration letter + tax assessment letter + tax number
  • For unemployed candidate – documents confirming their ability to cover living and accommodation costs + their covered health insurance

Settlement permit for foreign family members of EU/EEA citizens

This settlement permit is for foreign family members of the EU/EEA citizens (excluding the Germans) having lived continually in Germany at least over the 5 past years. During such period, they must have lived in the same home with their receiving EU/EEA family member, meanwhile chasing the same rights as their aforementioned family members, i.e. working in a job position, opening/running a business, or remaining unemployed.

The fee for this residence permit is 10 – 28 Euro, meanwhile, is reduced into 22.8 Euro to persons of age up to 24.

Requirements

General:

  • A duly completed permanent residency permit application form “Antrag auf Ausstellung einer Daueraufenthaltskarte
  • A valid national passport and a residence card “Aufenthaltskarte”, or a valid residence permit
  • One recent biometric photo
  • Documents to confirm residence in Germany
  • Home registration certificate “Meldebestätigung” (received by the Residence Registration Office “Einwohnermeldeamt”)
  • Rent agreement + A confirmation letter of accommodation “Einzugsbestätigung” issued by the homeowner
  • A covered health insurance

Persons who have a covered statutory health insurance, different from private health insurance holders do not have to extend their health insurance periodically

  • Personal interview upon a preset appointment
  • Declaration of criminal record – showing no criminal history

Specific:

  • Documents confirming the use of right to free movement “Freizügigkeitsrecht” for the past 5 years same as their EU/EEA family members (excluding the Germans)
  • For an employed candidate – a letter from the employer (showing candidate’s part in the company as their employee, the type of job, and the work contract length)
  • For self-employed candidate – A business registration letter + tax assessment letter + tax number
  • For unemployed candidate – documents confirming their ability to cover living and accommodation costs + their covered health insurance
  • A document showing information about the candidate by the registration authority
  • Registration information report “Melderegisterauskunft” (application for the simple registration information report, and for the extended registration information report)