Bringing Your Family to Germany on a Student Visa

As a non-German studying in Germany, you’re allowed to bring your family members to live with you at least during the study period, but, both parts must meet some requirements.

What Is the German Visa for Family Reunification?

German visa for family members of foreign students is a residence permit that entitles your non-EU/EEA family members to come and stay in Germany, while you’re completing a study course on the basis of a German Residence Permit “Aufenthaltserlaubnis for study.

Who Needs a Family Reunion Visa to join you during your studies here?

To join you in Germany on a family basis, while you’re studying here as a foreign student, qualifying family members whose nationality is of a country outside of the EU/EEA, require a German Reunion Visa beforehand they travel, taken from a German embassy or consulate of the country they live.

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

The following members of your family have the eligibility to join you in Germany while you’re studying here:

  • Spouse (husband, wife).
  • Minor child.
  • Parent.

Preconditions to Get a German Family Visa

The following basic preconditions must be met for the purpose of bringing the qualifying family members in Germany, while you’re studying as a foreigner:

  • Sufficient Living Money. You must possess enough financial resources to cover the living costs of yourself and of any joining relative. Such money should cover the entire period of stay in Germany, and you must not rely on Germany’s public funds.
  • Adequate Living Place. You won’t be able to bring your relatives if you fail to have the right space in Germany to accommodate yourself and any joining family member.
  • Marriage Requirement. The marriage with you’re the spouse to join, should have happened before you’ve obtained the German Student Visa.
  • Civil Partnership Requirement. You must have registered your relationship with your joining same-sex partner before you’ve received the German Student Visa.
  • Age Requirement. The joining partner and you must be aged at least 18 when they apply for the family visa. If your parent is applying for a family reunion visa to join you, you must be a minor in need of care. If your child is seeking to join you in Germany, they must not be aged more than 16. If your joining child is aged 16, they must be in possession of sufficient German language proficiency for an easier integration here.
  • Language Requirement. Your spouse won’t be able to make a successful reunion visa application if they don’t have the right command in German language, equal to at least A1 level of the CEFR. A child aged 16 – 18 can join you if they have a German language command of the minimum C1 level of the CEFR.
  • Dependence. Your parent can join you only if you are in need of their care during your studies here as a minor. A child joining you in Germany, on the other hand, must not have a separated family unit in Germany, and must intend to live in the same home with you in Germany.
  • Residence Period. Your relatives can only join you if you’ve a German residence permit for a study course lasting at least 1 year.
  • Civil status. A child joining you while studying in Germany must not be married, divorced or widowed.
  • Custody rights. For a child joining, you should have a custody rights over them.

How to Apply for a German Family Visa?

There are two ways you can make an application for a German Family Reunion Visa, depending on which is your current location.

Application for the Entry German Family Visa from Abroad

For entering the Federal territory of Germany on family grounds, as a visa national foreigner, you’re required to make an application for an entry German Family Reunion Visa, early enough from your travel date.

The visa application from abroad must be addressed to the German consular service in your country of residence.

To apply, you’ve to book an appointment through the official webpage (online booking system) of the consular service in your respective country of residence.

On the visa appointment day, you’re expected to supply the complete documents for visa application, in the required quality and format.

As a part of an application, you will be sitting in an interview season where you’ve to answer a set of personal questions and related the reasons you’re applying for the visa.

You may also be required to provide additional evidence after this date.

Application for the German Residence Permit on the Family Basis in Germany

In the initial 3 months of your arrival in Germany, you must confirm your right of residence, by applying for a German Residence Permit. This should be done at the German Foreigner’s Authority of the district in Germany where your permanent address is.

The application process for a residence permit comprises of submitting most of the documents you’ve already submitted on getting the entry German Family Visa, together with the evidences for your current residence in Germany.

Visa Requirements for the German Family Reunification Visa

The required documents to apply for a German family reunion visa are:

  • 2 Long-Term German Visa Application Forms (Duly filled-out). They’ve to be duly completed and properly signed by the relative applying for the German family visa (except for your minor child – you or the other parent must sign the form).
  • 2 Signed Security Questionnaires. They must be signed by the joining relative, as an approval of such applicant for their visa document to be verified by the appropriate German authorities.
  • 2 Signed Applicant’s Declaration. It must be signed by the joining family member as a form to confirm the authenticity of the provided information.
  • Valid Passport of Your Joining Relative. It must be accompanied by 2-3 copies of the passport ID page, as well as entry/exit stamps’ pages, together with the visa/residence permit pages.
  • 2-4 Photographs of Your Joining Relative (passport-size).
  • 2 Copies of Your Valid National Passport Data Page. They must be supplemented by 2 copies of the passport pages which contain your entry/exit stamps, visa and residence permits held over the past 2 years.
  • 2 Copies of Your Current German Residence Permit.
  • Personal Cover Letter by your relative (If applicable). In the letter, your family member should explain their motives of joining you in Germany and for how long they plan to stay here.
  • Proof of Your Residence in Germany. Any of the following:
    • Registration certificate of your permanent living address in Germany “Meldebestätigung”. It must not be older than 6 months.
    • Rental contract. It must be accompanied by the confirmation letter from the landlord of the rented apartment.
  • Travel Health Insurance (if required). It must cover the period of 90 days of stay in Germany.
  • Copy of Visa Appointment Confirmation E-Mail Containing the Booking Code.
  • Money for the Appropriate Visa Fee.

Required documents for your spouse:

  • Proof of Previous Marriages of Yours/Your Partner (if applicable).
    • Divorce judgment.
    • Decree
  • Proof of Relationship of Your Partner with You.
    • Marriage certificate (if a spouse).
    • Partnership certificate (if a same-sex registered partner).
  • Academic Degree Certificates of Your Partner (if applicable).
  • Additional Documents Proving Identity and Age of Your Partner.
    • Birth certificate of your partner.
    • Matriculation certificate.
    • School-leaving certificate.
  • Proof of German Proficiency (A1 – Higher Level of CEFR).
    • Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1.
    • telc Deutch A1.
    • Other recognized German language certificate.
  • Proof of Your Partner’s Residence in the Home Country. Any of the following:
    • Valid national ID card.
    • Voter’s ID.
  • Marriage Photographs and Old Family Pictures Where You and Your Partner Are Present (if required).
  • Proof of Your Partner’s Child (If your partner has a child who’s not going to accompany them in Germany).
    • Your spouse’s child’s birth certificate.
    • Declaration of such child’s age and contact details of their other parent.

Required documents for your child:

  • Proof of Relationship of Your Child with You.
    • Full birth certificate (for an underage child).
    • Adoption certificate.
    • Court certificate naming you as a legal guardian.
    • Hospital registration number of your child’s birth (if applicable).
  • Proof of Custody Rights over Your Child. This requirement only applies if your underage child will join you alone, while the other parent remains in the home country.
    • Court certificate showing that you’ve the sole/joint custody rights (if you’re divorced with the other parent of your child).
      • Custody order inside the divorce decree.
      • Custody decree.
    • Paternity recognition certificateVaterschaftsanerkennung”.
    • Letter of consent from the parent remaining in the home country (if the other parent is still married to you).
  • Evidence of Your Consent for Your Child to Join You.
    • Your letter of consent regarding your child’s visa application to join you (signed by you).
  • Matriculation Certificate of Your Child. It has to be obtained the current school of your joining child, not earlier than 14 days from the application date.
  • All of Your Child’s School Certificates.
  • Nursery Records of Your Child.
  • Names and Contact Details of the Educational Institutions Attended by Your Joining Child.
  • Proof of Your Relationship with the Other Parent of Your Child. These evidences should display what your current relationship with the other parent of your joining child is. Any of the following:
    • Your valid marriage certificate.
    • Your valid partnership certificate.
    • Divorce judgment and decree.
  • Proof of Death of the Other Parent of Your Child (if applicable).
    • Death certificate of your former partner.
  • Proof of German Language of at Least C1 Level of Proficiency (for a child aged 16-18).
    • German language certificate. Showing that your child has knowledge in German language on C1 level – higher of the CEFR.
  • Old Pictures of You and Your Child as Well as of the Entire Family (if required).
  • Names and Contact Details of the Remaining Family Members of Your Child in the Home Country.

Required documents for your parent:

  • Proof of Your Parent’s Relationship with You.
    • Your full birth certificate.
    • Your adoption certificate.
  • Proof of Paternity of Your Parent over You.
    • Acknowledgment of paternity certificate.
    • Certificate of marriage of your parents.
  • Proof of Custody Rights of Your Parent over You (If your parents are divorced). Any of the following:
    • Proof of joint custody rights.
    • Proof of sole custody rights.
  • Documents Confirming Identity of Your Joining Parent.
    • Birth certificate of your joining parent.
    • Matriculation certificate of your parent.
    • School-leaving certificate of your parent.
  • Proof of Residence of Your Parent in the Home Country (if applicable). Any of the following:
    • Valid national ID Card.
    • Voter’s ID.

All the documents in foreign language must be translated into German, with an apostil or confirmation of authenticity.

The documents to apply for a German Family Reunion Visa are commonly prone to undergo a verification process which lasts about 6-8 weeks. The process is carried by the Foreigner’s Authority in Germany.

What is the processing time for a German Family Visa?

It takes at least 3 months for an entry German Family Reunion Visa to process.

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

To apply for an Entry Family Reunion Visa you’ve to pay a fee of 75€ (adults) and 37,5€(minors).

The application fee for initial application for a Residence Permit on the family grounds costs 56-100€ (adults), 28-50€ (minors) and 28.8€ (Turkish nationals).

Extension of the Family Reunion Visa in Germany costs 49-96€ (adults), 24.5-48(minors), and 28.8(Turkish nationals).

Can a family member of a foreign student work in Germany?

Yes. Holders of a German family visa can get a paid job in Germany if they have the right age and qualification for the job.

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

The application to renew a German Family Reunification Residence Permit should happen minimum 4-6 weeks beforehand the existing residence permit’s period exceeds.

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