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Family Reunion Visa


Date03 Feb 2022


The Family Reunion visa is issued for relatives of Germans or non-Germans legally residing in Germany. That includes spouses, children, parents and other relatives. The stay could be for a temporary period or permanently, that’s why it falls into the category of German National visas. The visa might be considered as a long-stay permit which can be further extended to an Aufenthaltstitel or a German Residence Permit.

Please check the article about the regulations for working in Germany when coming with a Family Reunion visa here! 

The Family Reunion visa is issued by the Immigration Authorities in Germany who are in favour of the reunification of family members. The family members residing outside the European Union can apply for this visa category from their country itself, in that case from India. 

In that article we’ll give you an overview of the eligibility criteria, the requirements and the process of applying for the Family Reunion visa. 

In case you are not yet sure if that is the right visa category for you, please check our article about the different types of visa for Germany!

Eligibility for the Family Reunion Visa 

For a person to be eligible for the Family Reunion Visa, he or she must be a relative of a legal resident in Germany, irrespective of whether this person is a German citizen or not. There are three different types of the Family Reunion visa for Germany. 

  1. Family Reunion for Spouses
  2. Family Reunion for children wanting to join one or both parents in Germany
  3. Family Reunion for a parent to join their German child

Note that it is possible for other family members or relatives such as sister, brother, aunt, niece, uncle, grandparent or cousins to apply for this category of visa. However, these visas are not easy to obtain.

The person (spouse or parent) already residing in Germany has to fulfill certain criteria for his or her relatives to apply for a Family Reunion visa. 

  • Residence Permit - it is important for the legal resident in Germany to have a temporary or a permanent residence permit or an EU Blue Card for Germany 
  • Accommodation Proof - it is also very important for the legal resident to show proof of accommodation which is suited to accommodate the relative joining from India
  • Proof of Finance and Health Insurance - your relative in Germany should have sufficient financial funds to support the family. Additionally, he or she should have health insurance which covers the relatives as well. 

Requirements for the Family Reunion Visa 

Here you can find the requirements for all three kinds of Family Reunion visa, further below you will find the specifics for spouses, for children to join their parents in Germany and for parents to join their German children. 

  • Passport of the applicant with two blank pages (issued within the last 10 years, valid at least one more year from the date of visa application)  
  • Application form, declaration form and contact form duly filled with correct information
  • Personal covering letter explaining the exact purpose and duration of the stay
  • Copy of all pages of your passport (A4 size)
  • Certificate of residence (“Meldebescheinigung”) of the relative in Germany, not older than 6 months 
  • school certificates which mention date of birth (and parentage)
  • birth certificate of applicant
  • 4 passport photos according to the biometric specifications
  • Fee for verification of documents 

Make sure that you are covered by a family health insurance in Germany, you might as well take up travel health insurance for the beginning. Learn everything you need to know about health insurance in Germany here!

Depending on the kind of Family Reunion visa you want to apply for you need the following additional documents!

Family Reunion for Spouses

  • Copy of all passport pages of the spouse residing in Germany (A4 size)
  • copy of spouse’s residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”) 
  • proof of marriage
  • proof of residence in India
  • divorce judgement and decree of all former marriages of both spouses (if applicable)
  • certificate of death of former spouse (if applicable) 
  • Academic degree certificate (if applicable) 
  • proof of German knowledge (Level A1) 
  • valid contract of employment and salary slips of the last 3 months of spouse living in Germany (only if spouse is an EU citizen, except German citizens)
  • Copy of lease agreement for accommodation in Germany (only if spouse is an EU citizen, except German citizens) 
  • for Mumbai and Kolkata: Invitation letter of spouse, spouse’s employment contract, spouse’s salary slips of the past 3 months, lease deed (if spouse is already residing in Germany)
  • for Mumbai: marriage photo album

Please refer to the latest checklist for spouses with explanations here!  

It is very important to know that the Federal Republic of Germany does not recognise polygamous marriages which means you cannot bring more than one spouse to live with you in Germany. Additionally, both spouses must be 18 years of age or older. 

Family Reunion for Children with parents in Germany

  • Copy of all pages of parents’ passports (A4 size)
  • Copy of parents’ residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”) 
  • proof of marriage of parents
  • divorce judgement and decree of parents (if applicable) 
  • death certificate of parent (if applicable)
  • in case of reunion with a non-German parent in Germany: if the other parent is residing permanently in India, the parent in Germany needs to prove sole custody if parents are divorced or if parents are still married a declaration of consent of the parent residing in India
  • proof of German knowledge (Level C1) 
  • Copy of contract of employment and salary slips of the last 3 months of parent residing in Germany (only if parent is an EU citizen, except for German citizens)
  • Visa fee

Please refer to the latest checklist for children to join their parents in Germany with explanations here!

A parent can also bring their adult children provided he or she is unmarried. However, they could be eligible to apply for different categories of visa if not the Family Reunion one.

Family Reunion for parents with German Child 

  • Copy of child’s passport (if available), or other parent’s passport (A4 size)
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Proof of parentage (Acknowledgement of Paternity in case parents were not married when the child was born OR proof of marriage) 
  • Declaration of joint custody, if parents are not married
  • proof of residence in India 

Please refer to the latest checklist for parents to join their German child in Germany with explanations here!

Prepare two identical sets of the application documents with copies of the above mentioned required documents. Bring the originals along with you to the appointment! 

Please note that the documents can either be submitted in German or English. If they are in your regional language, then a legalised translation with proper attestation must be provided with each of them.

Procedure of applying for a German Family Reunion Visa

The application process does not really vary as opposed to the other categories of German Visa. Firstly, it is very important to check the required documents on the official website of the German missions in India and start preparing to gather those documents.

Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can book an appointment at your nearest embassy, consulate or VFS. Once you have secured an appointment, reach there on time and carry all the necessary documents arranged according to the checklist.

Visa Fee

The visa fee for a Family Reunion visa is only applicable for the case of children joining one or both parents in Germany. It costs 75 EUR for adults and 37,50 EUR for minors below the age of 18.

Please note that the visa fee is non-refundable. 

Visa Processing Time

The processing time of the Family Reunion visa takes at least 3 months, depending on your case the time might be even longer. Hence, it is essential to apply in time. 

If you have any further questions please comment below or connect with others in the New2 FORUM to discuss specific challenges with people who have already gone through the process! 

Latest Update: 27 Jan 2022 

Written by: Sanchari Banerjee and Tanja Holbe

Cover Photo illustrated by Ananya Singh

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