Overview of Family Reunion Visa
Under the EU Freedom of Movement, an European Union citizen has the right to live and work in Germany, and are able to bring their parents, children and spouse to Germany without a visa. On the other hand, nationals from outside the EU do not have this freedom and instead must seek family reunification with the German Reunion visa. To apply for this visa, both the parents and adult child in Germany must meet certain requirements, and the parents must make a formal visa application to the German immigration authorities in their country before they are able to join their family member in Germany.
The Family Reunion visa is only available to parents whose children hold certain German permits, and the family member who is sponsoring their parents must be able to financially support and provide accommodation for their parents.
- Overview of Family Reunion Visa
- Can I Bring My Parents to Germany Permanently?
- How Long Does a Family Reunion Visa Allow My Parents to Stay?
- Who Can Get the Germany Family Reunion Visa?
- How to Apply for a German Parent Visa
- Documents Required
- How Much Does the Germany Family Reunion Visa for Parents Cost?
- How Long Does the Visa Application Take to Process?
- Can My Parents Extend Their Family Reunion Visa?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Bring My Parents to Germany Permanently?
Yes, although this depends on both of your circumstances. If you or your parents are EU citizens, you all have the right to freedom of movement within Europe and family reunification is simple.
However, if you are a non-EU citizen living in Germany, this is when the process gets more complicated and we recommend speaking to immigration experts, such as Total Law, to see what your family are eligible for and how to apply for the visa compliantly. In this case, your family members will only be able to enter Germany to join you if you hold a long-term German residence permit, a permanent residence permit, or a residence permit for highly qualified individuals. On the other hand, your parents will not be able to join you if you hold a short-term visa, for example, a Business visa or Schengen visa.
Both you and your parents must fulfil the eligibility criteria for a reunion visa and if their application is successful, they will be granted a limited period of stay in Germany. Once they have been granted permission to travel to Germany to join you, they can apply for a residence permit.
How Long Does a Family Reunion Visa Allow My Parents to Stay?
The amount of time your parents will be granted permission to stay in Germany will depend on the purpose of their visit and how long you are staying in Germany.
A Family Reunion visa can be short term, for a maximum of 90 days, or for a longer period of time, which can be issued for up to one year. This can later be extended for two more years, depending on the reasons your parent is staying in Germany.
When applying for the long term visa, this is when your family members will have to provide additional documents, such as proof of accommodation and financial resources, alongside their visa application forms as listed below.
Once your parents have arrived in Germany, they can apply for a residence permit, which will allow them to stay in Germany for a longer period of time. The residence permit they can apply for will depend on the eligibility criteria they meet, their personal circumstances and their purpose of staying in Germany.
Previously, for any people who were an adult child and no longer a minor, it was only possible to bring their parents to Germany if they were a case of ‘exceptional hardship’. Now, Germany has changed the law so that parents of skilled workers are also able to apply for family reunification and eventually a residence permit for staying with their children in Germany.
If you would like personalised advice on whether you and your parents are eligible for the Family Reunion visa and how they can live permanently with you, speak to Total Law today on (+44)333 305 9375 for specialist advice.
Your financial stability is pivotal in the immigration process. You must be able to pay for your family, as they cannot rely on social benefits for support, and you will also need sufficient accommodation for them. Although this isn’t necessary if the person in Germany is a German citizen.
The amount of money you need will depend on if one or both of your parents are applying for family reunification. There is no set amount for minimum income, but it is assumed that in addition to general expenses, you will need to have a minimum of €500 per family member.
You will have to provide:
- Proof of stable finances, through employment income, savings, or property ownership; this amount is calculated after accounting for rent or loans. Typically, this will take the form of bank statements, payslips, or other official documentation.
- A signed declaration saying you will cover the costs of your parents living in Germany, including healthcare costs and potential return flights.
- Evidence of space for them, this is 12 metres squared per person over six years old.
You must also hold a long-term residence permit, residence permit, or EU Blue Card, be over 18 years old, and know German.
Your Parents’ Requirements
The parents must also fulfil specific requirements to be eligible for a Family Reunion visa; they must be able to guarantee their livelihood, have sufficient health insurance, and be able to provide a number of documents.
Depending on what country your parents are travelling from, they may be required to take a tuberculosis test before they travel. It may be helpful for them to speak to their German embassy to find out if this is a requirement for them.
They must also show evidence that they mean to integrate into German society, by:
- Proving A1 level proficiency in German language, at a minimum.
- Arranging to take a German integration course (though this is not mandatory).
There is no maximum age requirement for people applying for family reunification.
How to Apply for a German Parent Visa
Your parents can apply for a Family Reunion visa once you have your German residence permit. They will need to gather all the required documents and make an appointment to apply for their visa at the German embassy in their country; they may not be able to apply from within Germany if they are already with you.
On the day of the interview, they will pay the visa fee and meet an immigration officer to have a short interview with them. They will ask them about their background and reasons for travelling to Germany.
Many documents must be presented during your parents’ appointment with the immigration authorities. If they don’t have them for the appointment, they will not be able to process their visa application and they will have to book another appointment. Your parents must prepare two identical application sets of all the following documents, take the original certificates, and not staple anything together. They will need:
- A valid passport, which is less than 10 years old, has at least one year remaining and two empty pages. Passports with observations about name, birth date, birthplace, and sex are not accepted; these are handwritten notes or stamps highlighting certain information.
- A4 copies of the first and last pages of their passport, and all pages containing entry stamps or visas.
- A completed and signed visa application form, declaration form, and contact information form.
- A personal cover letter detailing why they are visiting Germany and how long they are staying.
- An invitation letter inviting them to stay with you and confirming there is sufficient room for them to stay.
- Your birth certificate and an A4 copy of your passport.
- Your German certificate of residence from within the last six months.
- Proof of parentage, either acknowledgement of paternity if your parents were unmarried at the time of your birth, declaration of joint custody if your parents are unmarried, or proof of marriage.
- Your parents’ birth certificate from under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1969.
- Evidence of private health insurance for the duration of their stay, which covers the whole area of Germany and will cover any medical costs that they may incur.
- Proof of German language skills to at least A1 level.
- A school certificate, such as a matriculation certificate, Middle School Board Certificate, or school leaving certificate including birth date.
- Two passport photographs from within the last six months.
Additional documents may be requested, or your provided documents may need to be investigated, which may incur additional costs. It is advisable that they check with the German embassy in their country which documents are required, so they can prepare additional documents in advance of their interview.
Alternatively, a checklist of the required documents may be listed on the German embassy’s website, or they may be able to request one by email.
If any of their documents are not in German or English, copies of certified English translations must be included. If your family members are unsure what is considered a certified translation or have any other queries about what documents are required, Total Law is here to answer your questions. Call us today on (+44)333 305 9375, or contact us online.
How Much Does the Germany Family Reunion Visa for Parents Cost?
The visa fee for a Family Reunion Long-term visa is €75.00. This is non-refundable if the application is rejected or they decide to withdraw their application after they have paid.
Once your family members have arrived in Germany, if they apply for a residence permit, this will incur a separate fee of €85.00.
How Long Does the Visa Application Take to Process?
Once they have submitted their application, their Family Reunion visa will take at least three months to process and they will not receive any status updates during this time.
It can also take a while to book an appointment at the German embassy if they are receiving a lot of applications at that time, in which case, they will schedule their appointment later. Although, if the embassy is not busy, they will get an appointment within a few days.
Can My Parents Extend Their Family Reunion Visa?
If your parents decide they would like to stay with you for longer, before their current visa expires they must submit their application to extend their visa. A visa extension isn’t necessarily guaranteed and they may have to provide additional documents or attend an interview with the immigration authorities in Germany.
How Can Total Law Help?
There are a number of requirements that must be met, both from the German resident and the parent wishing to be reunited with them, and it can be challenging to ensure that the application fulfils the German immigration authority’s criteria. Working alongside an experienced immigration lawyer can ensure the application is completed correctly, and all documents are supplied, ultimately speeding up the visa process and supporting a positive decision.
Total Law are full-service lawyers that can help you with any visa application, from providing personalised advice to completing your visa application on behalf of your family members. Call us today on (+44)333 305 9375, or contact us online, to speak to one of our advisors.
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Yes, you can bring your parents to live with you during the period you study in Germany, but only if you are a minor and are in need of their care during your studies.
Yes, parents can work if they have moved to Germany for family reunification; however, there are some restrictions. They are allowed to work for up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year without requiring a work permit. If they want to work more days than this, they will need to apply for a separate work permit.
These German work permits have their own requirements, such as meeting the qualifications for the job and having sufficient German language skills.
They will not be allowed to work until they have received their German residence permit and the processing time can vary.
Yes, however, the parents must meet eligibility criteria in order to enter Germany. The parent must have custody of the minor child, there is no parent responsible for care in Germany, and the child has a German residence permit.