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Living in GermanyHow to Bring Your Family to Germany on a Student Visa

How to Bring Your Family to Germany on a Student Visa

Starting your studies in Germany as an international student means you might be able to bring your family with you. If you meet certain requirements and have a German residence permit, you can have your spouse and children join you while you study.

Summary

  • International students in Germany can bring family members, including spouses and children, through the German Family Reunion Visa, while citizens from certain countries may enter without a visa but require a residence permit.
  • Spouses, children under 16, and occasionally other family members like parents or extended relatives, can join the student in Germany, subject to specific conditions and requirements.
  • Students must have a valid residence permit, sufficient living space, adequate health insurance, financial stability, and for some family members, proof of German language skills, to sponsor family members.
  • Applications for the Family Reunion Visa must be made in the applicant’s home country or place of legal residence. The application requires an appointment, submission of documents, and, after arrival, applying for a German residence permit.

What Is the German Family Reunion Visa?

The German Family Reunion Visa (Visum zur Familienzusammenf眉hrung) is a special permit that allows the non-EU/EEA family members of foreign students in Germany to join them.聽

Designed to keep families together, this visa enables close family members to live in Germany while the student is enrolled in a study course under the condition of holding a German residence permit for study.

Who Needs a German Family Reunion Visa to Join You During Your Studies?

Apart from citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, or Switzerland, anyone else wishing to join you during your studies in Germany needs some type of residence permit.聽

Nationals from certain countries, which will be listed in the table below, can enter Germany without a visa but must secure the appropriate residence permit once they arrive. Nationals of any other country need to apply for a German Family Reunion Visa.

Citizenship Family Reunion Visa Requirement
Citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, or Switzerland Don鈥檛 need a visa (Freedom of movement).
Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, the United Kingdom Don鈥檛 need a visa to enter Germany, but have to apply for a residence permit upon arrival.
Citizens of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, and San Marino Don鈥檛 need a visa to enter Germany and have to apply for a residence permit upon arrival. However, they need a visa if they intend to work in Germany.
Citizens of any other country Need a visa.

Which Family Members Can Apply for a German Family Reunion Visa?

The following members of your family are eligible to join you in Germany while you鈥檙e studying here:

Important Tip: To Maximize Your Chances of Getting Your German Student Visa You Should Use a Blocked Account as Proof of Financial Resources.

A blocked account is a special type of bank account, to prove you have enough funds to live in Germany for one year.

As of 2024, as a foreigner in Germany you need a minimum of 鈧934 euros per month for living expenses. So, you are required to have a total of 鈧11,208 in your bank account before you apply for a German internship visa.

  • Spouse/civil partner
  • Children under 16
  • Children over 16
  • On very rare occasions: Parents or other family members, which can include:
    • Biological and adoptive parents of German or foreign adult or minor children in Germany.
    • Adult children wishing to join their parents in Germany.
    • Minor children aiming to reunite with adult close family members in Germany.
    • Extended family members such as siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Prerequisites to Get a German Family Reunion Visa

To bring your qualifying family members to Germany while you’re studying as a foreigner, the following essential conditions need to be fulfilled:

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To reunite with third-country nationals in Germany:

  • Sponsors need a valid residence permit.
  • Sufficient living space. Allocate about 12 square meters for each adult and 10 square meters for a child under 6 (babies up to 2 years old not included).
  • Adequate health insurance. You can use “family insurance” to cover your family’s health; just show your insurance policy and a letter stating your family member will be added once they arrive.
  • Financial security. Your income should cover your family’s needs independently, without resorting to public assistance. The amount depends on your family size and circumstances, and the Immigration Office (Ausl盲nderbeh枚rde) evaluates it on a case-by-case basis.
  • German language skills. Some family members must demonstrate German language knowledge before receiving their visa and participate in integration courses upon arrival in Germany.

Spouse

Your husband or wife is additionally subject to the following conditions to join you:

  • Both you and your spouse must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must show basic German skills (A1 level) with a test or through an interview at the embassy (EU or partner country citizens exempt; ).
  • You should be married before getting your German Student Visa. For same-sex partners, your relationship should be officially registered before receiving the visa.

Children

Children under 16 can move to Germany to join you without needing to meet extra conditions. This also applies to children older than 16 if they relocate to Germany within six months of their parents’ move.

However, if they are 16 or older and wish to come to Germany after this six-month window, they must either:

  • Demonstrate German language proficiency at the C1 level as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or
  • Prove they can easily adapt to life in Germany, such as having attended a German-speaking school outside of Germany or growing up in a German-speaking home.

Parents or Other Members

This category includes a wide range of family members who may be eligible to join you in Germany to prevent significant hardship. These cases are evaluated individually and such members gain family reunion visas on very rare occasions.聽

Some circumstances that could lead to family members being able to join in Germany include:

  • Needing family support due to illness, disabilities, or psychological needs.
  • Situations where family care can only be given in Germany, such as for special care needs.
  • Well-being and care needs of minor children, depending on their age and situation.

In such cases, we recommend considering legal advice, as circumstances allowing family reunions in Germany vary and are complex.

How to Apply for a German Family Reunion Visa?

To apply for a German Family Reunion Visa, you must submit an application in your home country or the country in which you are legally residing. You’ll need to book an appointment in advance and provide all required documents during your visa interview. Appointments are usually booked online.

Upon arrival in Germany, within the initial 3 months, you must apply for a German residence permit at the local Immigration Office, using many of the same documents submitted for the visa application along with proof of current residence in Germany.

If your country doesn’t have a German embassy or consulate, you may need to apply for a German visa through the embassy or consulate of another country that represents Germany’s interests in your location.

to find the nearest German embassy or consulate, and follow their instructions for more detailed information.

Note: Please be aware that in some countries (e.g. Pakistan), there’s a high demand for visa appointments, which could mean waiting times of up to a year. It’s crucial to book your appointment well in advance to avoid lengthy delays in your application process.

Visa 黄瓜视频直播 for the German Family Reunion Visa

The documents needed to apply for a German Family Reunion Visa for each family member joining you are as follows:

Required Documents for Your Spouse

If you’re applying for the German Family Reunion Visa as the spouse of an individual holding a residence permit in Germany, you have to provide the following documents:

  • Applicant鈥檚 valid passport (issued within the last 10 years and minimum one-year validity) + A4 size copy of your passport鈥檚 data pages
  • Fully completed, signed, and printed .
  • Signed .
  • Completed contact information form (find it in the forms section).
  • Two/three recent biometric photos ( for more details).
  • Birth certificate.
  • Proof of financial means (provided by the spouse or yourself).
  • Copy of spouse鈥檚 valid German residence permit.
  • Copy of spouse鈥檚 passport鈥檚 data pages.
  • Certificate of residence (Meldebescheinigung) of the spouse living in Germany (no older than six months).
  • Proof of marriage (birth certificate, marriage contract, and marriage certificate/registration).
  • Proof of A1-level German knowledge (“Start Deutsch 1” from Goethe-Institute, “Start Deutsch 1” from telc GmbH, “Grundstufe Deutsch 1” from the 脰SD).
  • Travel health insurance valid for 90 days (recommended).
  • Visa fee.

In the case of previous marriages:

  • Divorce decree of former marriage(s), or
  • Death certificate of former spouse(s).

Required Documents for Your Child

Children planning to join their parent(s) in Germany must apply for the Family Reunion Visa with the documents below:

  • Applicant鈥檚 valid passport (issued within the last 10 years and minimum one-year validity) + A4 size copy of your passport鈥檚 data pages.
  • Fully completed and printed , signed by all persons with parental rights.
  • Signed .
  • Completed contact information form (find it in the forms section).
  • Two/three recent biometric photos ( for more details).
  • Birth certificate.
  • Proof of financial means (provided by the parent).
  • Copy of parents鈥 valid German residence permit.
  • Copy of parent’s passport鈥檚 data pages.
  • Certificate of residence (Meldebescheinigung) of the parent(s) living in Germany (no older than six months).
  • Proof of marriage of parents (birth certificates, marriage contract, and marriage certificate/registration).
  • Travel health insurance valid for 90 days (recommended).
  • Visa fee.

In the case of bringing a child to Germany without the other parent:

  • The parent in Germany must prove sole custody with a custody order, or聽
  • A declaration of consent must be signed in person at the German Mission by the parent remaining in the home country.

In the case of children over the age of 16 and under 18:

  • Proof of C1-level German knowledge.

Required Documents for Your Parent or Other Family Member

To understand what documents are needed for your parent or another family member, it’s best to talk to a lawyer or embassy representative for guidance. This is important, especially to figure out if your family member even qualifies to join you based on their situation. Remember, proving significant hardship for them can be tough, especially with a student visa.

Important

Any documents not in German or English must be translated by a certified translator or notary and provided in either of these languages.

Additionally, note that the German Embassy may request extra documents or interviews, and failure to comply could lead to delays or denial of your application.

For a comprehensive list of specific requirements tailored to your situation, we recommend contacting your local German embassy or consulate. They can provide detailed guidance beyond the general requirements outlined here.

What Is the Processing Time for a German Family Reunion Visa?

The processing time for a German Family Reunion Visa can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on factors such as the location and current workload of the embassy or consulate processing your application.

For those not requiring a visa to enter Germany but needing to apply for a family reunion residence permit at the Immigration Office (Ausl盲nderbeh枚rde), the processing time typically ranges from 1 to 3 months. This duration can vary depending on the workload of the immigration office, with larger cities like Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich often experiencing higher numbers of requests compared to smaller towns.

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a German Visa for Family Members?

The fees for German family visa applications are:

  • Adults (18 years and older): 鈧75.00
  • Children (under 18 years): 鈧37.50

Fee waivers. Visa fees are waived for spouses and children of German or other EU citizens and parents of German or other EU minors. In these instances, applicants are required to include a copy of the marriage or birth certificate and the German or EU passport of the family member.

Payment method. Fees are typically payable in cash in the local currency (card payments are sometimes available). The exchange rate at the time of application determines conversion into the local currency.聽

Can a Family Member of a Foreign Student Work in Germany?

Yes, once settled in Germany and granted a residence permit, family members of foreign students, such as spouses, are eligible to work in the country.

When Should I Apply for an Extension of a Family Reunion Residence Permit in Germany?

It’s best to schedule an appointment at the Ausl盲nderbeh枚rde (Immigration Office) 6-8 weeks before your residence permit expires.

Remember, when applying for an extension of a Family Reunion Residence Permit in Germany, the volume and processing time of requests can vary depending on the city where you reside.聽

Is Bringing My Family to Germany on a Student Visa Difficult?

It’s not impossible to bring your family to Germany on a student visa, but it can be challenging for several reasons.聽

  • As a student, your income is typically limited because you’re only allowed to work part-time. This limited income may not be sufficient to cover additional expenses such as health insurance for your family members or to afford suitable housing for everyone.
  • Pursuing your studies requires significant time and dedication. Managing the process of bringing your family to Germany can be time-consuming and may divert your focus away from your academic responsibilities. Balancing your studies with the visa application process and the needs of your family members can be quite demanding.
  • It can take time for your spouse to find suitable employment after arriving in Germany. This can further complicate the financial aspect of bringing your family to Germany, as you may need a stable source of income to support everyone.

What Are Some Alternatives?

If your family member is a third-country national who requires a visa to enter Germany, they can also apply for a Schengen Visa to visit you occasionally. Your spouse can also explore if they individually qualify for one of the .

Another option is to wait until you finish your studies and secure a job in Germany. Once employed, you can convert your student visa to a residence permit for employment. This transition can make it easier to meet the financial requirements and other criteria necessary to bring your family to Germany permanently.

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