Relative dating example

For more information, see our guide for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens moving to Germany.

If you're joining an EU/EEA or Swiss family member but you are not from one of those countries yourself, you will have to apply for a visa beforehand (depending on your own nationality).

If your relative was granted their residence permit as a student, employee or a self-employed person you were married (or civil partnered), you can get a residence permit as long as you fulfil all the other spouse visa requirements and plan to stay in Germany for more than one year.

If you got married your spouse was awarded a residence permit, you may be required to wait until your spouse has had the permit for two years before you can apply.

For the purpose of family reunification in Germany, your visa conditions will depend on the status of your relative, spouse or partner in Germany.

If you are a citizen of the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA; EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland, you don't need a residence permit to enter and work in Germany.

Certain relatives and partners will qualify for a family reunion visa in Germany if they meet certain requirements.

Children younger than 16 years can join their parents without fulfilling any conditions but if the child is between 16 and 18 years old, and not married/divorced/widowed, they will need to be either fluent in German or be able to integrate easily into German society (as judged by the German embassy/consulate processing the application) in order to get a residence permit for family reunification in Germany.

However, the latter requirements do not apply if the parent holds a Blue Card, a settlement permit or a residence permit for humanitarian purposes.

More information about Germany’s refugee policy and family reunification for asylum seekers for Syrians can be found here.

You can contact the BAMF Information service for more information: If you believe any of the information on this page is incorrect or out-of-date, please let us know.

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