Residence permit; application for family reunification with foreigners
You can apply for a residence permit for family reunification.
Marriage and family are under the special protection of the Basic Law and the Bavarian Constitution.
- German citizens and
- foreign nationals residing in Germany with a Settlement Permit, Permit for Permanent Residence - EU, Residence Permit, EU Blue Card, ICT Card or Mobile ICT Card (see under "Related Topics"),
have their foreign spouse/life partner and minor children join them.
The group of unaccompanied refugees who are minors is a special case. They can have their parents join them until they reach the age of 18.
The individual regulations for the subsequent immigration of foreign family members, which also apply to the subsequent immigration of life partners, are laid down in great detail in the Residence Act. The possibilities and requirements for family reunification depend on the type of residence title and the underlying purpose of the residence of the family member already living in Germany.
Before the foreign spouse/life partner or minor children can travel to Germany, they need a visa for family reunification, which they can apply for at the German mission abroad in their home country (see "National Visa; Issuance and Extension" under "Related Topics").
Whether there are exceptions to the visa requirement - for example, in the case of certain countries of origin - can be told to you in the specific individual case by the foreigners authority.
All cases of family reunification have in common that the entry of the spouse/life partner and minor children must take place for the purpose of establishing and maintaining the family community or the life partnership community.
Further requirements are,
- that the family member (to whom family reunification is taking place) is in possession of a residence title,
- sufficient living space is available,
- the livelihood is secured,
- that both spouses are of age, and
- that the spouse joining the family is able to communicate in a simple manner in German.
This is intended to encourage the person concerned to acquire a simple knowledge of German before entering the country and thus to facilitate his or her integration in the Federal territory. Exceptions to the requirement of proof of language proficiency apply, for example, if it is not possible or reasonable for the spouse to make efforts to acquire simple knowledge of the German language prior to entry due to special circumstances of the individual case, in the case of spouses of business people who will only work and live in Germany temporarily, or in the case of persons with a university degree.
In the case of family members other than spouses/life partners and minor children, i.e. grandparents, parents-in-law, siblings, uncles, aunts, grandchildren, family reunification may only be permitted if it is a case of exceptional hardship. High demands are made on the existence of an exceptional case of hardship. No benefits are provided for such foreign family members of Germans.
Family reunification is excluded in the following cases, among others:
- to foreigners who are staying in Germany as asylum seekers and whose asylum proceedings have not yet been completed,
- to foreigners who are obliged to leave Germany, including those whose deportation has been temporarily suspended (e.g. due to inability to travel, lack of passport or interrupted or missing transport connections), i.e. who are only staying in the Federal territory on a tolerated basis,
- to foreigners who, for urgent humanitarian or personal reasons, or because substantial public interests require their temporary continued presence, have been granted a residence permit only for a temporary stay.
Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration
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