Family Reunion in Germany

Pavel Radyuk, Customer Success Manager at VISARIGHT
09 September 2020 · 5-minute read
Children and spouses of German residents have the right to reunite with their families and obtain a permanent residence in Germany.
Making a decision for a family relocation often begins with the questions: "How to relocate a family?" and "What are the requirements for family reunification?". Reuniting with relatives already living in Germany is a real opportunity to stay in the country with a guarantee and for a long time. However, this applies to the closest family members: husband and wife, bride and groom, parents (or one of them) and a minor child. In this article, we will tell you about specifics of getting a permanent residence in Germany through family reunification.
General requirements
Family reunification for foreign residents and citizens is guaranteed by the Residence Act of Germany. The guarantee does not mean that there are no requirements. On the contrary, the rules for family-related immigration oblige applicants to fulfill a number of conditions.

There are several options for the reunification of foreigners in Germany:
  • Spouse
    Reuniting with a spouse that is a German citizen, a foreigner with an EU passport or a third-country national who has a permanent residence permit in Germany
  • Parent
    Reuniting with a minor child in Germany
  • Child
    Reuniting with a parent in Germany
In each case, different paragraphs of the German immigration law apply. Several conditions, however, are general:

  • The purpose of reunification is to live together with a family member and to lead a joint household.
  • Moving takes place to a person who has an official residence in Germany.
  • Cohabitation is requested on the basis of reasonable and sincere motives, rather than on the desire to get a German residence permit.
  • Sufficient living space is available for all family members.
  • If a resident of Germany receives unemployment benefits or social assistance as an unemployed person, the reunification with relatives in Germany might be refused.
You can check your chances of getting the
Family Reunion visa absolutely free
Challenges for applicants
In theory, the requirements for immigration based on family reunification are fairly straightforward. In practice, everything is more complicated, and applicants often face a number of challenges:

- Proof of German language knowledge. It is not enough to provide a certificate of knowledge as the diplomatic mission officers usually interview the applicants in German. If they doubt the level of knowledge, the visa might be refused.

- Income level of the inviting party. A resident of Germany will have to not only undertake the obligation to support family members, but also prove the existence of financial means. The amount of required income will depend on the number of relocating relatives. There is no single minimum income required, but it is assumed that, in addition to general expenses, the receiving party will additionally need at least 500 EUR per family member per month.

- Size of the housing. It is requested that a family member should have at least 12-15 m2 of living space.

- Proof of the marriage validity. If a marriage is concluded without the purpose of creating a family (fictitious marriage), the visa and residence permit might be refused.

- Collection and execution of documents and applications. The application process for family reunification in Germany is often significantly delayed due to paperwork collection and bureaucratic processes.
Family reunification is perhaps one of the most convenient ways for immigration to Germany. The easiest way to move on this basis is for spouses (including future ones), as well as for the children of a person with permanent residence in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Other family members also have the right to apply for reunification, but this is possible only under exceptional circumstances. In any case, the host is also obliged to cover the costs of supporting all family members and provide them with a place of residence.
Pavel Radyuk
Customer Success Manager at VISARIGHT
09 September 2020
Subscribe to receive new articles in your e-mail
By clicking the button you agree our Privacy Policy
More articles for you