Requirements for Family Reunion Visa Germany

A Family Reunion visa allows you to enter Germany to join a spouse or civil partner, parent, or other family members in more uncommon circumstances. However, you and the sponsoring family member must fit the requirements for accepting your visa application.

If you need help understanding the requirements and making your application, you should contact the expert team of immigration lawyers and advisors at Total Law. You can call (+44)333 305 9375 or visit us online to learn more about our services.

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    What is the Family Reunion Visa?

    If you have family who are legally residing in Germany or are German citizens, you may be eligible for a Germany Family Reunion visa. This allows you to enter the country for a maximum of 90 days, which should be long enough for you to establish a residence in the country with your family members and get the residence permit required for you to stay longer.

    The Family Reunion visa comes with a range of basic requirements for you and your sponsor. There are also additional eligibility requirements depending on your relation to the German family member you plan on joining.

    Read the article below to learn more about the Family Reunion visa eligibility criteria, which will give you a greater understanding of whether you will be able to apply for it.

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    Basic Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible for a Family Reunion visa, you must first make sure you fulfil the following basic requirements as listed below.

    • You have a sufficiently close relationship with a German citizen or legal resident.
    • You have followed the law while previously in Germany or the EU with a clean criminal record.
    • Travel health insurance with coverage for a minimum of 30,000 euros, valid across Germany and including repatriation costs.
    • You can be financially supported by yourself or your sponsor so that you won’t require state assistance to survive.
    • You have a basic understanding of German (A1 on the CEFR).

    Documents Required for Family Reunion Visa Germany

    To prove that you fit these basic eligibility criteria, you will need to submit a range of documentation. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, as each type of Family Reunion visa comes with additional documentation requirements. However, the basic documentation is listed below:

    • You and your sponsor’s passports. These must be valid at the time of your application and for your entire time in Germany. Furthermore, they cannot be older than ten years.
    • Signed and completed application forms.
    • A signed letter of permission from your sponsor.
    • Two passport-style photographs from the applicant that meet German standards.
    • Proof of travel health insurance
    • You and your sponsor’s financial information, such as recent bank statements.
    • Your sponsor’s rental agreement or proof of purchase.

    Requirements for your Sponsor

    Overview

    On top of these requirements, which are primarily for you to fulfil, your sponsor also needs to fit the range of requirements listed below:

    • They are legally resident in Germany at the time of application. This can include having an EU long-term residence permit, a standard German resident permit, or an EU Blue Card.
    • They are over 18 years old.
    • They have good German language skills.
    • They have accommodation (bought or rented) with enough room to house you and any other dependents coming to Germany on a Family Reunion visa.
    • They have achieved an intermediate standard of the German language.

    What Characteristics Will Disqualify My Sponsor from Sponsoring Me?

    Fitting the requirements for a sponsor listed above is not always enough to help you to get a Family Reunion visa. Your application will be severely harmed if any of the following applies to your sponsor, and success will be unlikely:

    • They have a deportation ban.
    • They are victims of human trafficking.
    • They are in Germany legally due to a Land or Federal Authority ruling.
    • They have a temporary residence under international law or humanitarian grounds.

    While these issues will harm your application, they don’t guarantee a rejection. However, the issues listed below will always result in an unsuccessful application:

    • They had a deportation order that was suspended and have been issued a temporary residence permit in the meantime. This also applies if obstacles to departure have delayed the deportation.
    • Their current residence permit was issued to them as a family member or parent of a “well-integrated juvenile.”
    • Their residence permit has been given to them as a victim of “clandestine employment”, as defined by the Act to Combat Clandestine Employment.

    If any of these issues apply to your sponsor, it is well worth considering alternative German visas that will allow you to enter the country.

    Get help from immigration experts when applying for your family reunion visa Germany. Contact Us

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      Requirements for Each Type of Family Reunion Visa

      Overview

      As stated previously, each type of Family Reunion visa comes with slightly different eligibility and documentation requirements. The three types of Family Reunion visas are as follows:

      The specific requirements for each one are listed below.

      Family Reunion Visa for Spouses and Civil Partners

      Getting a Spouse visa requires you to be legally married or in a civil partnership with your German spouse, and you will need to show the original version of your marriage certificate or similar document for civil partnerships.

      Please note that mixed-sex couples must be married to be eligible. Meanwhile, same-sex couples have more flexibility as they can be married or in a civil partnership. Furthermore, at the time of writing in January 2024, Germany does not recognise polygamous marriages. Therefore, only one partner can join you on a Family Reunion visa.

      The other key requirement is that both members of the marriage or civil partnership must be over 18 years old.

      Family Reunion Visa for Children

      If one of both parents of a child are legally resident in Germany or are German citizens, the child will be eligible for a visa. In all cases, the parent or parents will need to show a birth certificate, proof of the child’s nationality, and proof that they have custody over the child. Beyond this, additional requirements vary depending on the age of the child.

      If the child is under 18 years old, both parents have to be in Germany unless a single parent can prove that they have been legally given sole custody of the child.

      If the child is an adult, they are only eligible for a Family Reunion visa in cases where there would be ‘unavoidable hardship’ if the adult child didn’t come to Germany. The adult child must also not be married.

      Family Reunion Visa for Parents and Other Family Members

      The hardest type of German Family Reunion visa is for parents and other family members of German citizens and residents. Parents can come to Germany under the visa if the child is a minor or if ‘unavoidable hardship’ will be present without them coming to Germany.

      Similarly, only extreme hardship will allow you to use the German Family Reunification visa to bring more distant family to Germany. This applies to the following relations to a German citizen or resident:

      • Siblings.
      • Uncles.
      • Aunts.
      • Nieces.
      • Nephews.
      • Grandparents.
      • Cousins.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      The German Family Reunion visa is one of the most complex German visas to apply for. There are rigorous criteria to follow for both yourself and your sponsor. Furthermore, the criteria change further depending on the type of relationship you have with the German family member. When making your application, you will need to produce strong documentation that shows you fit the criteria.

      Many applicants for this visa have got help from Total Law to gain a better understanding of whether they are eligible. If you decide to apply for the visa, we can then help you to complete your application to achieve the best possible chance of success. Should your visa be rejected, we can help you to re-apply or appeal if necessary.

      To get help from Total Law and find out more about the excellent services we offer, please call us at (+44)333 305 9375 or visit us online.

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                FAQs

                You will not need to fit the eligibility requirements for a Family Reunion visa if you do not need a German visa to enter the country. This will occur if you are a citizen of a nation that has a visa-free agreement with Germany. Primarily, this includes nationals of the European Union, European Economic Area, or European Free Trade Association countries.

                Outside of these European agreements, Germany has visa-free arrangements with the following countries:

                • Andorra.
                • Australia.
                • Brazil.
                • Canada.
                • El Salvador.
                • Honduras.
                • Israel.
                • Japan.
                • New Zealand.
                • South Korea (Republic of Korea).
                • Monaco.
                • San Marino.
                • United Kingdom.
                • United States of America.

                Please note that for nations outside of the European agreements, you will usually need a residence permit to remain in Germany for longer than 90 days. You must apply for this as soon as possible after you enter the country.

                Remaining in Germany beyond your short visa eligibility period will require you to get a German residence permit. To get this documentation, usually valid for one year, you need to fulfil the following additional criteria:

                • Your passport will be valid throughout the period of the residence permit. Y
                • You have not committed crimes while in Germany on a Family Reunion visa and have no criminal record.
                • You have achieved a B1 standard on the CEFR, indicating an intermediate standard of German language capabilities.
                • You or your family member can support you throughout your time in Germany.

                You will be able to renew your residence permit once it runs out. However, renewal requires your circumstances to have remained the same. If there are any significant changes to your circumstances, such as you get divorced from your German spouse, you will need to apply for a new residence permit or return to your home country.

                You will need to pay 75 euros to get the visa as of January 2024 at the time of writing. The standard processing time is 21 days, which can get longer if the German embassy you apply to is experiencing a backlog.

                If you don’t meet all the requirements or there are issues with your application, you can expect delays and higher costs. The processing time will increase as immigration authorities attempt to deal with any discrepancies. Furthermore, if you have to re-apply due to a rejection, you must pay the application fee again.