A note on reuniting families separated by migration
Bringing partners, children or other family members to Germany
The decision to move to Germany often affects the entire family. Looking to work in Germany on a long-term basis and now want bring your family to join you? Find out here about German regulations governing the reuniting of families separated by migration.
The Free State of Saxony provides a summary of the most important information relating to family reunification.
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees can also provide you with information on family reunification.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which family members can legally enter Germany through family reunification?
Family reunification regulations exist first of all for the nuclear family (spouse and children who are minors). Other family members such as siblings or parents can only follow the applicant in exceptional cases, on grounds of extraordinary hardship (e.g. need of care).
A family member is already living and working in Germany. How can other family members join them?
First of all, the decisive factor is country of origin. Please find an overview of the information here.
In principle, EU nationals as well as nationals from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can travel to and work in Germany without restriction due to freedom of movement.
Third-country family members require a residence permit for the purposes of family reunification and must therefore apply for a visa in the country of origin.
Conditions for family reunification:
- The host person must have a valid residence permit (residence permit, EU Blue Card, permanent EU residence permit, settlement permit)
- The host person must be able to ensure and/or demonstrate sufficient means of subsistence for himself and his family members
- The person(s) following must demonstrate a basic grasp of German before arrival (exceptions may be possible)
- As a rule, following spouses or life partners must be at least 18 years of age
The following partner shall automatically gain the right to pursue gainful employment through acquiring a residence title for family reunification. He or she may also work without restriction in Germany.
- “Family Reunification of Third-country Nationals in Germany” brochure, including extensive information about requirements, application, and support services.
- “Residence Permit for Family Members” information leaflet
- “Required Documents for Family Reunion Residence Permit” checklist
- Residence Act, Section 6, Residence for Family Reasons