Citizens from third world countries always want to bring their families to Germany. This is only possible if the third world non-German is residing legally in Germany. These family members can obtain a German Family Reunion visa to join their family member or partner in Germany. As a result, the German government makes it possible for non-EU citizens who are residing in Germany to bring their family members or partners.
Unlike a non-EU citizen, an EU citizen does not need a German Family Reunion Visa to join their family member who is in Germany. The EU citizen can join their family or spouse in Germany and is free to work without obtaining a residence permit. However, individuals must be able to take care of themselves financially.
The Family Reunion Visa is a long-stay visa. The holder can extend the visa so long as it is applicable. Also, the visa can be extended to a residence permit.
Who can apply for a Family Reunion Visa?
You must be a relative of the German resident before you can obtain this visa. You can obtain any of the following: marriage visa, fiance visa, spouse visa or a visa for any family member. Also, the family member must fulfil some other requirements to be eligible for the visa. Similarly, the German resident must prove that he/she is capable of taking care of the family member(s) seeking to join him/her.
You can apply for a German family reunion visa if you fall in any of the following categories.
Father or mother of a legal German resident
You can apply to join your minor child who is residing in Germany. However, you must prove that you have legal rights to care for the child.
Similarly, non-Germans from third world countries who are residing in Germany can apply to bring their parents to Germany. However, they must prove that this is to prevent some difficulty or suffering.
Children of a legal German resident
You can apply to bring your children to Germany if you are a legal resident. The application process depends on the age of the child. That is to say, it is different for minor and adult children.
Adult children can join their parents in Germany if they can prove that the move is to avoid some suffering. Also, the child must not be married to be eligible for a German Family Reunion Visa. However, the adult child can apply for other types of visas like
On the other hand, the conditions to bring a minor child to Germany are different. If both parents are in Germany, then they can bring their minor child to Germany. However, if one of the parents is in Germany, then the other parent is the home country with the child, then the parent in Germany must obtain a right of custody from the parent in the home country. As such, the parent in the home country permits the German resident parent to take the child to Germany.
Similarly, a single parent residing in Germany has to show that he/she has the sole right of care and custody of the child to bring him/her to Germany.
Husband or wife or registered partner of a non-German who is residing in Germany.
Are you a German resident from a third world country, and you want to bring your spouse over? This is possible, your spouse can obtain a German Family Reunion Visa and join you in Germany. However, there are certain conditions for the spouse in the third world country to get the visa.
The German resident must fulfil the following:
Knowledge of German language
Must be older than 18 years
Financially capable of taking care of the incoming spouse
Must have a settlement permit (EU Blue card, residence permit or EU long-term residence permit)
Similarly, the incoming spouse must provide the following:
Must be over 18 years old, and the submitted documents will prove this.
Have basic knowledge of the German language.
Germany does not accept or recognize polygamous marriages. However, in this case, the German resident can only bring one of their spouses from the home country. Thereafter, the window to bring in another spouse closes.
You can apply for a visa if you have a sibling who is residing in Germany. The common relations are brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, niece, nephew, grandparent or cousins. However, it is harder to get the visa if you have this relationship with the German resident. Notwithstanding, you will get the visa if you prove that the move is to prevent some suffering or hardship.
Family Reunion Visa Requirements
Like any other type of German visa, there are certain requirements to get the German Family Reunion. Here we list the general and specific requirements.
Specific requirements for a family reunion visa
Proof of knowledge of the German language.
Proof of accommodation: The German resident must prove that he/she has enough space to house his/her relatives.
Provide birth certificate
Proof of the child’s nationality: The birth certificate and other documents can prove this.
Show that the German resident parent has the right to care and custody of the child.
For Spouse or legal partners:
A valid marriage certificate or equivalent. Also, this document must be attested by a foreign officer. The document must be in German or English and legalized by the German Embassy.
Provide proof that the spouse who is a German resident is legally in Germany. For instance, provide residence permit and copies of their passport.
But if the German resident spouse is of German nationality, then provide their identity card and passport.
All documents submitted at the German Embassy or Consulate must be in German or English. Any original document which is not in any of these languages must be translated, attested and legalized by a recognized translator. Thereafter, submit the original document along with the certified translation.
General requirements for a German visa
A valid passport: The applicant must submit a valid passport of the home country. The passport must not be more than 10 years old and must be valid for 3 months after the desired return date.
Two passport-sized photographs: These must meet the requirements. Also, the photos must be taken within the last 3 months.
An invitation letter from the German resident: The German must submit this statement confirming that they want the relative to join them in Germany.
Two filled application forms: Fill this form with correct information which matches other documents. Also, make two copies of the form, and sign at the end of each copy.
Two filled explanation or notification forms: Contact the German Embassy or Consulate on how to get these forms. Fill the form, make two copies and sign the forms.
Flight itinerary: This is usually a booked flight from your home country to Germany.
Health Insurance Coverage: This must cover your stay in Germany with a minimum of €30,000. Also, it is recommended to obtain Health Insurance from a German company.
Proof of Financial means: The German resident must prove that he/she is capable of taking care of the incoming relative(s). Similarly, if the incoming relative has enough funds to take care of themself, then he/she can submit this too. This is mostly a bank statement, payslips, etc for the last 3 to 12 months.
Application Process for a German Family Reunification Visa
The application process for a Family Reunion is like for any other German visa. The main difference lies at the level of the documents submitted as listed herein. However, follow the following steps to apply for a German Family Reunion Visa.
Firstly, locate the German Embassy or Consulate closest to you in your home country. Obtain the list of all required documents for German Family Reunion Visa. Also, you can get this list online on the website, or by requesting it through email from the German embassy or consulate.
Gather all the required documents. Contact the German resident relative to send all the required documents which they have to provide. Most noteworthy, provide all the documents in English or German. Submit the originals and the translated copies of any of your documents were translated. Also, the translation must be done by a certified translator.
Book an appointment at the German embassy or consulate.
Pay the visa fee.
Go for the interview with all the required documents. The interview lasts from 10-15 minutes in most cases. The consular officer asks personal questions related to the documents you submitted. The intention is to know the purpose of your travel to Germany.
Similar to most German visas, the Family Reunion visa has an outstanding fee of €75. This fee must be paid before your application is processed. However, there are some exceptions to the visa fee. For instance, the fee for children younger than 18 years is €37.50.
The application fee is non-refundable no matter the condition.
The German Embassy usually takes a few weeks to decide on an application. This is usually less than 1 month. However, there may be some delays. The delay may be as a result of many application being processed. Also, it may be as a result of complications with an applicant’s documents.
How to work in Germany while on a Family Reunion Visa?
Your German resident must meet the following conditions before you are allowed to work:
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