Family Reunion Visa Germany: Complete Guide 

Family Reunion Visa Germany – Complete Guide

Imagine packing your bags with a mix of excitement and nervousness as you get ready to join your loved one on a journey to Germany. The thought of reuniting with your family and starting a new chapter in one of Europe’s most beautiful countries is thrilling. But the road to reunion starts with a crucial step: obtaining a FAMILY REUNION VISA.

It might feel like an overwhelming and complex process, but it’s a manageable journey with the right guidance. This guide is here to light your path, providing you with the essential steps, tips, and insights you need to navigate the visa application process without a hitch.


To join a family member in Germany, you’ll typically need to seek a Family Reunion Visa. This visa is meant for non-EU nationals who wish to live with family members who are already settled in Germany.

family reunion visa

Eligible family members include

    • Spouses
    • Registered Partners
    • Minor Children
    • Under certain conditions, parents of minor children and other relatives.

Eligibility Criteria for Family Reunion Visa 

The primary eligibility conditions require

    • Financial support from the German resident for the family member who is moving to the country
    • Enough Living Space
    • Basic German Language Skills For Spouses and Adult Children.

The requirement to show that spouses and adult children have basic German language skills may be waived in cases.

    • Where doing so would create extreme hard for family members in Germany or might be inappropriate.
    • According to the specific circumstances, such as in cases where the family member in Germany is severely ill or otherwise unable to take the test.

Types of Family Reunion Visas in Germany

Family Reunion Visa Germany

Spouse/Registered Partner Visa:

    • This visa is for the husband, wife, or registered partner of a German resident or citizen.
    • To get this visa, the couple must usually prove that they are married or in a registered partnership.
    • Sometimes they need to show they can communicate in German at a basic level.

Children Visa

    • This visa is for children under 18 years of age who want to join their parents living in Germany.
    • The parents must have a valid residence permit, and there should be enough living space and financial stability to support the child.

Parent Visa For Underage Children

    • For parents looking to join their underage child in Germany, the primary considerations include proving the child’s need for parental care in Germany.
    • Demonstrating enough financial resources and living space, and sometimes, the custody arrangements if only one parent is moving.

Parent Visa For Adult Children

Joining an adult child in Germany is generally more complex. The German immigration laws are more restrictive when it comes to family reunification with adult children or parents of adult children. Here are some key points:

    • Dependency: A crucial factor is proving that the parent is dependent on the adult child for support due to health or other significant reasons.
    • Financial Stability: The adult child in Germany must have sufficient financial resources and living space to support their parent(s) without recourse to social assistance from the state.
    • Rare Cases: Grants of visas for parents to join adult children in Germany are relatively rare and usually require special circumstances to be demonstrated, such as the parent’s need for care that can only be provided by the child in Germany.

To apply for any of these visas, the person living in Germany must usually have enough living space and financial stability to support their family members.

Each type of visa has specific requirements, so it’s important to check the current guidelines provided by the German embassy or consulate in your country. You can also check Federal Foreign Office of Germany’s website for the most accurate and detailed information.

Other Family Members Visa

In special cases, other family members, such as siblings, grandparents, or adult children, might be allowed to join their family in Germany.

This is usually considered when there is a need for special protection of the family member (for example, if they require care that cannot be provided in their home country).

Which Type of Family Reunion Visa You Need

    • Carefully determine which visa type you need before you start the application process.
    • Applying for the wrong visa category may affect the outcome of your application.
    • The type of visa you need will depend on what family member you intend to join and your current situation.

Basic Required Documents for All Applicants

1. Valid Passport: Must be valid for at least three more months beyond your planned stay in Germany.

2. Visa Application Form: Fully completed and signed.

3. Recent Biometric Photos: Usually two, following the specific requirements provided by the embassy or consulate.

4. Proof of Relationship:

        • For Spouse: Marriage certificate.
        • Children: Birth certificate.
        • Other family members: Documents proving the family relationship.

5. Proof of German Language Skills (for spouses/partners, if applicable): Certificates from recognized language institutes like Goethe-Institut.

6. Proof of Financial Stability: Bank statements or a letter of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung) from the family member in Germany.

7. Proof of Adequate Living Space in Germany: Rental contract and a statement from the landlord about the size of the dwelling.

Additional Documents for Specific Situations

8. Health Insurance: Evidence of travel or health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay until you are covered by statutory health insurance in Germany.

9. Custody Documents: If applicable, especially for children traveling alone or with one parent.

10. Parental Consent: For underage children traveling without both parents, a consent letter from the non-traveling parent(s) is necessary.

11. Proof of Integration Measures: For spouses, evidence of integration into German society could be beneficial, like participation in language courses or integration classes.

For the Sponsor/Relative in Germany

1. Copy of their Passport/ID Card: To prove their residence in Germany.

2. Proof of Residence Permit: If they are not a German citizen but reside in Germany with a valid permit.

3. Income Statements: To demonstrate financial ability to support the family member.

4. Proof of Health Insurance: To show that the family member will be covered upon arrival.

Preparing for Submission

    • Translations: All documents not in German or English should be translated into German by a certified translator.
    • Copies and Originals: Usually, you must submit both originals and copies of all documents.
    • Check with the embassy or consulate if originals are required or if copies are sufficient.
    • It’s essential to start gathering these documents well in advance of your visa appointment.
    • Each document plays a critical role in the application process, and missing or incomplete documentation can lead to delays or denial of the visa.

Get Health Insurance and Accommodation

    • You also need to provide evidence of health insurance and accommodation in Germany when you lodge your application.
    • Your family member in Germany should help you out with this part of the application process.

Learn German

    • Basic knowledge of the German language atleast level A1 of applicant is an important requirement for some visa categories, as it will help you find your feet in German society.
    • However, this requirement is not set in stone, so investigate or ask about your particular situation.

Application Process

    • Application usually begins by filling out a visa application form online or at your local German mission.
    • Once you’ve completed your form, book an interview at your local mission.
    • During your interview, you will need to submit your documents as well as answer questions about your time in Germany.

Fees of Family Reunion Visa

    • Adults: The standard fee for an adult applying for a Family Reunion Visa is approximately €75 (Euros).
    • Children under 18: The fee is reduced for children, typically around €37.50 (Euros).
    • Please note, these fees are subject to change and may vary by country due to fluctuating exchange rates or specific embassy/consulate policies.
    • Additionally, certain categories of applicants may be exempt from the visa fee, or different rates may apply based on bilateral agreements between Germany and other countries.
    • It’s also important to keep in mind that the visa fee is usually non-refundable, even if the visa application is not successful.
    • Therefore, make sure you have all the required documents and meet all the eligibility criteria before submitting your application and paying the fee.

Processing Time

    • The processing time is typically 3-4 months.
    • Keep this in mind and apply well in advance of your intended travel date.
    • The processing time can vary greatly depending on the embassy/consulate, as well as the specifics of your case.

Tips for a Successful Family Reunion Visa Application

Start Early

    • Begin your application process as early as possible to avoid any unforeseen delays.

Ensure Complete and Accurate Documentation

    • All your documents should be complete, accurate, and current.
    • Any missing or incorrect information can cause delays or even denials of your application.

Prepare for Your Interview

    • Be ready to talk about your relationship with the family member in Germany.
    • Your future plans in the country, and how you plan to support yourself financially.

Living in Germany: Next Steps After Arrival

Once you arrive in Germany, follow these steps to settle in:

    • Residence Registration: Register at the local Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within your first week.
    • Health Insurance: If you haven’t already, sign up for a health insurance plan that meets German standards.
    • Integration Course: Consider taking an integration course to better your German language skills and understand German laws, culture, and society better.

Family Reunion Visa Validity and Extension

    • The Family Reunion Visa initially lasts for 12 months.
    • If you plan to stay longer, you must apply for a residence permit extension in Germany.
    • After living in Germany legally for five years, you may be eligible for permanent residency, provided you meet criteria, such as passing language tests.

In conclusion, a family reunion visa is a special permit that allows people from different countries to live together with their families in another country. This visa is important because it helps families to stay together and supports the idea that family bonds are crucial.

To apply for this visa, you need to follow specific steps and meet certain requirements, which can include proving your relationship with your family members and showing that you can support them financially.

Remember, each country has its own rules, so it’s important to check the specific requirements for the country you’re applying to. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for advice from experts or people who have gone through the process. In the end, the effort to bring your family together is worth it, as being with loved ones is invaluable.

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