Family Reunification

Symbolic image: Family Reunification in Hamburg, Germany

Family Reunification

Under several conditions, spouses, registered partners and children can follow you to Germany with the purpose of family reunification.

Family Reunification - Hamburg Welcome Portal

In general, only spouses and under-aged children are allowed to follow their family member to Germany. In the case of registered same-sex partnerships, the rules on family reunion apply accordingly. It is necessary that both spouses have reached the age of 18. The reunification of other family members is subject to the discretion of the authorities and can only be authorised to avoid exceptional hardness.

Application

A visa with the purpose of family reunification must be applied for at the German mission abroad in the applicant's home country. Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States may enter without a visa. Upon arrival in Germany, family members need to register their place of residence and apply for a residence permit at the responsible immigration authority. Which immigration authority is relevant depends on your place of residence. There you will get further information on the application process.

Family reunion with German citizens

Family members of German citizens, typically spouses and under-aged children, apply for a residence permit for their stay in Germany. It entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment. Requirements:

  • The German citizen has his/her habitual residence in Germany.
  • The immigrating spouse has basic knowledge of German (A1).

Family reunion with EU/EEA citizens

Family members of EU or EEA citizens,  typically spouses and under-aged children, apply for a Residence Card (Aufenthaltskarte). It serves as proof of the right of residence and the right to take up an employment. Requirements:

  • Family members are only entitled to a right of residence derived from a EU/EEA citizen if he or she is habitually resident in Germany and has a right to freedom of movement.
  • The immigrating spouse has basic knowledge of German (A1).

Family reunion with non-EU/EEA citizens

Family members of citizens from non-EU/EEA countries, typically spouses and under-aged children, apply for a residence permit for their stay in Germany. It entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment. Requirements:

  • Family members are only entitled to a right of residence derived from a non-EU/EEA citizen if he or she is habitually resident in Germany and has a valid residence permit.
  • The living space must be sufficient to host the family community.
  • The livelihood of the family community must be secured, including adequate health insurance, without the use of social benefits.
  • Usually the immigrating spouse must have basic knowledge of German (A1).

Prinzen Family Reunification