Germany Family Reunion Visa for Child

Children aged under 18 are entitled to live in Germany with their parents providing they’re legally residing in the country. There are various eligibility criteria to meet and in most cases, children will be able to obtain either a temporary or permanent residence permit.

Total Law offer specialist legal support for those undergoing the visa application process for a German family reunion visa. Call our team today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online, to discuss your circumstances and ensure a successful reunion.

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    Child Reunification: Bringing your children to Germany

    Where a parent is legally entitled to live in Germany, any children they have aged under 18 will be automatically entitled to a temporary or permanent residence permit.

    Children who are citizens of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) member state will not require a visa or residence permit to live in Germany and so no visa application is required. However, nationals of any other country will require a valid visa for entry.

    If an overseas national is resident in Germany under a temporary residence permit, all of their children aged under 16 are automatically entitled to receive a temporary residence permit of their own.

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    Eligibility and Requirements of the Family Reunion Visa to Germany for Child

    To be eligible to receive a family reunion visa, there are various criteria that must be met.

    For the child, this includes:

    • The child must be aged under 18
    • The child must not be married, divorced or widowed
    • The child must not be a national of an EU or EEA country

    For the parents, they must:

    • Be legally resident in Germany under a relevant visa and residency permit – which they will continue to meet the requirements for throughout the duration of their stay
    • Hold legal custody of the child, or have signed authorisation for full custody from any other parent entitled to custody
    • Be able to demonstrate that they have the financial resources to adequately support their child while in Germany without reliance on any state benefits.
    Father carrying his two children

    Documents Required for Children’s Family Reunion Visa

    Family reunion visas are usually offered as an extension to a full visa provided to an adult to allow them to enter Germany. The required documents to prove the eligibility for family reunification may vary dependent on circumstances, but generally speaking the following will need to be provided for a child’s application alongside the application form:

    • A valid passport for the child, expiring no sooner than a year after the intended duration of stay in Germany
    • Valid birth certificate of the child
    • A covering letter written by the parent/s explaining the purpose and intended duration of the stay in Germany
    • Copy of all pages of the child’s passport containing any entry stamps of visas (in an A4 copy)
    • Copy of all pages of the parent/s’ passport containing any entry stamps of visas (in an A4 copy)
    • Certificate of residence (Meldebescheinigung) of the parent/s living in Germany, issued no longer than six months prior to the application
    • Copy of the parent/s residence permit
    • School certificate from the child’s home country demonstrating their parentage and date of birth
    • Proof of marriage of the parents (if applicable)
    • Divorce judgement and decree of the parents (if applicable)
    • Death certificate of either parent (if applicable)
    • Proof of sole custody (in the case of a single parent being resident in Germany)
    • Proof of the child’s C1 level of the German language (for minors aged over 16)
    • Two passport standard photos of the child

    German immigration authorities may request additional documents at any point during the application processing period.

    Application Process for a German Family Reunion Visa

    While there may be nuances throughout the visa application process based on the circumstances of both the visa holding parent/s and/or the child, the application process is generally as follows:

    Collect and translate required supporting documents

    All supporting documents for the family reunion visa must be collected ready for submission to evidence the child’s eligibility. Such supporting document requirements may vary, but a local Embassy of Germany or German Consulate will be able to provide an exact list dependent on the jurisdiction within which they operate. All documents must be supplied in either German or English, and if they are not in these languages originally, must be translated by a certified translator.

    Arrange visa application meeting

    A visa application meeting must be booked in advance with a local Embassy of Germany or German Consulate. For adults, such a meeting is considered a visa interview but in the case of minors, there is rarely any actual ‘interviewing’ happening and this can be thought of more as a formality, providing all the relevant documents are provided in the appropriate format.

    A Consular Officer will have a short discussion with the parent/s and child/ren about the purpose of their stay in Germany and their background, and then file the application formally with German immigration authorities. It is at this point that the visa fee should be paid.

    Await decision

    While in some cases a family reunion visa may be granted at the visa meeting, in most cases it will be filed and a decision provided at a later date. In most instances, a decision will be received by post addressed to the parent/s within a couple of weeks. Where additional documents or further information are requested by German immigration authorities, this may be extended to several months.

    Travel to Germany

    Once a family reunion visa has been successfully received, the child is free to travel to Germany and begin their residence there with their parent/s.

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      How Much Does the Germany Family Reunion Visa Cost?

      A non-refundable visa fee is payable for the processing of all German visas, including family reunion visa applications for children. As of December 2023, it costs €37.50 per application for a child aged under 18, and €75 for those aged over 18.

      Indirect costs such as those for translation services and copying and printing charges are also likely to be incurred. All such fees are the responsibility of the parent/s.

      All direct and indirect costs associated with the visa application are non-refundable, even in the event of a family reunion visa being declined or the applicant withdrawing their application.

      What happens if a non-German citizen has a child in Germany?

      If a child is born in Germany to a legal resident who does not hold German nationality, that child will automatically be entitled to a residence permit and so there is no requirement to apply for a family reunion visa.

      Furthermore, with German citizenship requirements based on parentage principles, the child will automatically gain German nationality at birth if either of their parents is a citizen. In some cases, dual citizenship may be applicable. This is a particularly complex piece of immigration law, but Total Law can help navigate it – contact our team on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to discuss your situation.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      Total Law is a firm of specialist immigration lawyers who advise, guide and support throughout visa application and appeal processes globally. We understand how important it is to have your children with you no matter where in the world you end up, and that’s why we aim to de-stress the application process for family reunion visas and support families throughout.

      No matter how far through the application process you are, Total Law can help. Call our office today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, and let us work to get you and your family safely and legally to Germany together.

      For immigration assistance, permits and visas to Germany, speak to our specialist team for help today. Contact Us

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Providing an adult holds the legal right to reside in Germany and meets the criteria to keep their visa valid, they may apply to bring dependent children to Germany with them. There are eligibility criteria to meet including proving parentage, language proficiency and financial sufficiency.

                  Germany recognises marriages of all religions providing they are legal in the country within which they were held. For Hindu and Sikh marriages, a Temple or Gurdwara certificate along with any conversion certificate and photos of the essential rites being performed may be supplied.

                  For marriage performed under Sharia Law, a Nikahnama certificate and conversion certificate along with photos of the Nikahnama being signed may be supplied. For a civil marriage, the certificate of marriage may be supplied.

                  Children aged under 16 may join their parent/s resident in Germany under a family reunion visa. Children aged between 16-18 may be eligible but will need to prove additional capabilities such as language proficiency in German. For adult children, processes and eligibility varies. Contact Total Law for more information on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

                  Children aged 16 or over must be able to prove that they hold at least a C1 level of proficiency in the German language. This is usually demonstrated through a certificate of ability from an examination of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). This level can be considered to be ‘lower advanced’ and is sufficient for an individual to reside and function adequately in German society.

                  A dual citizen of an EU state is considered an EU citizen as any other, and so there will be no requirement for the child of such an applicant to apply for a family reunion visa.