Procedure descriptions

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Subsequent entry of family members (to foreign nationals) - applying for a residence permit

Family members are permitted to rejoin foreign nationals living in Germany.

The family members to whom this applies are your:

  • children,
  • wife or husband,
  • partner in a registered civil partnership as defined in the German Life Partnerships Act (Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz),
  • partner in a civil partnership recognised by foreign law that is largely equivalent to a German registered partnership.

The following can also apply for a residence permit allowing the subsequent entry of family members:

 

Responsible authority

  • for issuing a national visa before entering German territory: the German diplomatic mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
  • after entering Germany: the authority for foreign nationals responsible for the district in which you will ordinarily be residing; depending on the area, this will be the city council (Stadtverwaltung) or the rural district office (Landratsamt).

Tip: The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides a Verzeichnis der Vertretungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Ausland (list of addresses of German diplomatic missions abroad) on its website.

Prerequisite

The prerequisites for obtaining the residence permit are:

  • You satisfy the passport and visa obligation.
    You are deemed to satisfy the passport obligation if you have an alternative form of identification.
  • You have sufficient income to subsist without drawing on state funds.
    Your income is deemed sufficient if you earn
    • an amount equivalent to the standard rate of social assistance plus
    • enough to cover accommodation, heating and
    • any health insurance contributions.
  • There are no grounds for you being expelled from the country.
  • Your stay does not endanger or influence the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Your family member already living in Germany has a
    • settlement permit,
    • permit allowing him/her to reside permanently in the EU,
    • residence permit or
    • EU Blue Card and
    • adequate living space.
  • If you are being rejoined by a spouse:
  • If being rejoined by children aged between 16 and 18:
    • they must enter the country with their parents or
    • have a good command of German or have a positive integration prognosis (e.g. because their parents speak German or they have been attending a school where German is spoken), or
    • they have been suffering under special hardship

You may also have to fulfil other requirements. These will depend in part on the status of the family member already living in Germany. Please request further information directly from the competent authority.

N.B. You will not receive a residence permit for the subsequent entry of family members if

  • the relationship was enforced or
  • you only entered into it for the purpose of coming to Germany.

 

Procedure

You must apply for a national visa in your own country before coming to Germany.

After entering Germany, you must send a written residence permit application to the authority for foreign nationals before your visa expires.

You will then receive either a residence permit or a notice of rejection.

The residence permit is valid for a limited period, depending on the term of the residence permit held by the family member already living in Germany.

You must request an extension from the authority for foreign nationals in plenty of time before it expires.

Required documents

  • Evidence that you satisfy the passport and visa obligation
  • Evidence of sufficient income
  • Evidence that there are no grounds for your expulsion
  • Evidence that you do not endanger or influence the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Evidence of the residence permit held by the family member already living in Germany
  • Evidence of adequate living space
  • Evidence of family relationship (e.g. birth and marriage certificates, certificate of registered partnership)
  • If you are being rejoined by a spouse:
    • Evidence that both spouses have reached the minimum age
    • Evidence that the person rejoining you has a basic knowledge of German
  • If being rejoined by children aged between 16 and 18:
    • Evidence that they entered the country with their parents or
    • Evidence of German language skills or a positive integration prognosis, or
    • Evidence of special hardship

Note: The competent authority may request additional documents depending on the other requirements you have to satisfy.

Miscellaneous

You will receive the residence permit in the format of a bank card incorporating additional electronic functions. You will find further information at “Application for electronic residence permit (eAT)".

Young citizens of other countries: can also obtain a settlement permit under less stringent requirements if they

  • grew up in Germany or
  • immigrated to Germany as children.

Family members of citizens of EU/EEA countries who are themselves also citizens of an EU/EEA country: you

  • are free to enter the country,
  • do not require a residence permit and
  • are permitted to work in Germany.

Family members of citizens of EU/EEA countries who are not citizens of an EU/EEA country: You may

  • enter Germany and
  • stay there.

Please take note of the entry requirements.

Costs/Benefits

  • Valid for up to one year: EUR 100.00
  • Valid for more than one year: EUR 110.00
  • Extension by up to three months: EUR 65.00
  • Extension by more than three months: EUR 80.00

Note: The competent authority can only waive the fees in exceptional cases.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Innenministerium released it on 02.12.2014. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

Die hier dargestellten Informationen werden von service-bw übernommen und regelmäßig aktualisiert.