Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration
Residence Family Reunification
In principle, only spouses and minor children are allowed to follow to Germany. In the case of registered same-sex partnerships, the rules on family reunion apply accordingly. It is necessary that both spouses have reached the age of 18.
Hamburg Welcome Portal – Arrival – Residence – Family Reunification
The reunification of other family members is subject to the discretion of the authority and can only be authorised to avoid exceptional hardness.
For entry and residence in Germany, a visa must be applied in advance for the purpose of family reunification at the German mission abroad in the home country. Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States may enter without a visa. Upon arrival in Germany, family members register their place of residence and apply for a residence permit at the responsible immigration authority. Which immigration authority is relevant for you, depends on your place of residence. There you will get further information on the application process.
Family Reunification to German Citizens
Family members of German citizens apply for a residence permit for their stay in Germany. It entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment.
- The German citizen has his/her habitual residence in Germany.
- The immigrating spouse has basic knowledge of German (A1).
Family Reunification to EU/EEA Citizens
Family members of EU or EEA citizens apply for a Residence Card (Aufenthaltskarte). It serves as proof of the right of residence and the right to take up an employment.
- Family members are only entitled to a right of residence derived from the EU/EEA citizen if he or she is habitually resident in Germany and has a right of free movement.
- The immigrating spouse has basic knowledge of German to (A1).
Family Reunification to Third Countries Citizens (Nationals of a state that does not belong to EU/EEA)
Family members of third countries citizens apply for a residence permit for their stay in Germany. It entitles the holder to pursue gainful employment.
- Family members are only entitled to a right of residence derived from the third countries citizen if he or she is habitually resident in Germany and has a valid residence permit.
- The living space must be sufficient.
- The livelihood must be secured. The livelihood of a foreigner is secured if he/she can pay for it, including adequate health insurance, without the use of social benefits.
- Usually the immigrating spouse must have basic knowledge of German (A1).