Family Reunion Visa
A temporary residence permit is issued to foreigners intending to join their family members who live in Germany, as well as a residency permit to foreigners currently in Germany who want to protect their marriage and family.
When foreign families join a German citizen family member, the laws are different from when they join a foreign family member who lives in Germany.
In this category, German residence titles are provided for the purpose of a family reunion.
For this purpose, the following people are eligible for resident titles:
- Foreign spouses
- Minor unmarried children aged 16 or over
- The parent of a German minor child (the child who has no one else to take care of them),
- In some cases, distant family members of either German nationals or foreign persons living in Germany.
Foreign Family Members Joining a German Citizen or a Resident in Germany
A foreigner joining a German citizen in Germany under this category can be a spouse, a minor unmarried kid, or the parent of a minor unmarried German child living in Germany who requires care and custody.
In this circumstance, a residence permit for family reasons is normally provided for up to one year, with the option of being extended for as long as the family continues to live together.
Requirements for a family-related residence permit (in this case):
- The German family member has lived mostly in Germany
- The German family member has the necessary money to cover their own living costs and their joined family members
- There are no reasons for the candidate’s visa removal.
- The candidate has a nationality and an identity already.
- The candidate does not need to exit Germany or to return to a foreign country (due to criminal reasons).
- The candidate does not have any residence permit, and their stay in Germany does not represent any risk to the public interests of the country.
- The candidate has a recognized passport or another valid travel document.
The settlement permit for family purposes (of this case) is given only if:
- After three years of living in Germany with a residence permit, the family remains together.
- The candidate has fulfilled the requirement for the necessary knowledge of the German language.
- There is no reason for residence title cancellation.
Family Members Joining a Foreign National Living in Germany
The family member to be joined (Person A) must have a German settlement permit, an EU long-term resident permit, an EU Blue Card, or a residence permit in this circumstance.
Person A, with a few exceptions, must have sufficient financial resources to maintain themselves and their dependent family member(s).
The residence permit for family purposes in this case is valid for the duration of Person A’s residential title, although it can alternatively be awarded for a one-year period.
Person A must have received a settlement permit that was not in violation of the law. The following are some examples of such residence permits:
- A residence permit according to their marriage which has been recognized in an EU member state and Person A now has an EU long-term residence permit,
- A residence permit which allows them to stay more than one year in Germany, and the marriage happened before they were granted that residence title,
- A German residence permit as a researcher engaged in a research project, or because they are under humanitarian protection,
- A permanent residence permit,
- An EU Blue Card,
- An EU long-term residence permit,
- Has now or had a residence permit for two years.
There are exceptions to such rules in the following situations:
- Highly qualified foreigners who were married when they had their residence title in Germany,
- Foreign spouses having physical, mental or psychological disorders or disabilities.
Residence Permit for Family Members of a German Citizen or of Foreigners Living in Germany
This residence permit is for foreign family members of German citizens or foreigners with a valid residence title who are currently living in Germany.
Candidates who have foreign family members already living in Germany with a residence title for studies or for educational reasons in general, for the recognition of their professional qualifications, to work as a visiting scholar or academic staff, or to work as a teacher will be granted such a residence permit.
Candidates eligible to take this residence permit are the following: foreign spouses/ same-sex partners, foreign minor, unmarried children of a German citizen and of a non-German living in Germany with a valid residence title, foreign parents of a German citizen, foreign parent(s) of a foreign child in Germany with a temporary valid residence title as resettled refugees, as an asylum seeker who is allowed to work, as a refugee, or as one of the aforementioned persons with a permanent settlement permit, and (only if in Germany does not live any parent who can offer care for the child); foreign parent(s) of a foreign child with settlement permit (section 26, paragraph 4 of the Residence act) with no parent present in Germany to take care of them.
In general, spouses or wives of foreigners holding a residence title in Germany are likely to be given a residence title as well.
Both spouses must be at least 18 years old, and the joining spouse must have a basic understanding of the German language.
There are some circumstances in which a spouse can get a residence title extension or new residence title on their own (not for the sake of a family reunion), such as the following:
- If the marriage ends after spouses have lived together in Germany for a minimum of three years – the residence permit can be extended for one more one year,
- If the foreign partner who held either a residence permit, settlement permit or EU long-term residence permit died, after a time period of both spouses living together in Germany – the residence permit can be extended for one more one year,
- If the marriage ends after spouses have lived together in Germany and the spouse’s living costs are guaranteed by own funds of the foreigner – the settlement permit can be given to the spouse.
Foreign Minor Children
Foreign minor unmarried children aged 16 or older of foreigners possessing a residence title in Germany are likely to be issued a German residence title as well.
Such children either can join their parents in Germany or be born there.
Children born out of a marriage are given the same rights as children born within a marriage.
A parent of a foreign minor child is given a residence permit in cases when their child is living alone in Germany lacking to get the needed care.
Residence Permit for a Foreign Child Born in Germany
This residence permit is for foreign persons born in Germany, and whose parent (s) lived in Germany with any valid residence title (residence permit, EU Blue Card, settlement permit, EU long-term residence permit, right of residence or permanent residence permit) at the time their child was born.
The period of stay given to the holder of this residence title does not exceed the allowed period of stay in Germany of their parent (s).
The fee to apply for this residence title is 28 Euros and is free for Turkish people, or for persons who get benefits (money and other) under German Social Code SGB II or XII, or as asylum seekers.
This residence title is in the form of a sticky label into the national passport of the holder and is usually issued on the day of application.
Settlement permit for foreign children 16 and older
This permanent residence permit is for foreign children having lived in Germany for a minimum of five years with a residence permit, and they are of age between 16 and 18, either born in Germany or have joined their parents living there.
The candidate for this residence title must also have the needed German language skills and must either currently participating in studies to get either an educational, work-related, or university degree. If none of them applies, the candidate must have their living and accommodation covered – without needing to require support through the use of public benefits.
The fee to apply is 113 Euro (for adults), 55 Euro (for minors), meanwhile, is reduced up to 28.8 Euros for the Turkish people.
Temporary Residence Permit
The Temporary Residence Permit, also known as the Limited Residence Permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis), is intended for shorter stays in Germany. This form of residence visa only allows you to stay in Germany for a year or up to two years. It does, however, have the option of being extended if your circumstances does not alter and you meet the standards.
Learn more about other types of residence permit, which requirements must be met and which documents you have to submit:
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