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Family Members

Family members

Family members
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Saxony is family friendly.

The decision to live and work in Saxony is, for many potential qualified workers, largely dependent on whether or not their families can join them. Saxony realises the importance of this desire, and is working to help the situation.

Family members also have great education and career chances in Saxony.

Who is allowed to immigrate?

Spouse/registered partner
The marriage must have legal validity in Germany. Marriages by tribal law or other marriages with non-state recognition cannot be recognised.

In the case of immigration of a partner of the same sex, this must be a »registered partner-ship« in the sense of the German Civil Partnership Act or a partnership that is state-recognised according to foreign law.

Children
The children must be minor, i.e. they have to be younger than 18 years. Also they must be neither married, divorced nor widowed.

Other Family Members
Unmarried partners have no claim to immigration as Family Members to Germany.

Other relatives can only immigrate in exceptional circumstances if it is necessary to avoid extraordinarily hardship. You should contact the responsible municipal or district immigration office in an individual case.

PLEASE NOTE:
If your spouse/registered partner is German or you are a parent of an under-age German child, specific regulations for the immigration of family members apply. Please refer to the responsible immigration office.

Which residence permit is granted?

The residence permit for Family Members is a temporary right of residence. It is reserved for its specific purpose, and is granted for at least one year or at the most for the duration of the validity of the residence permit of the applicant already living in Germany. The extension of a residence permit can only be granted if the family unit is still intact.

This provision is invalid should an independent residence permit be acquired. 

What are the conditions?

Basically the immigration of Family Members is possible if the entry of the spouse/registered partner and minor children takes place for the purpose of establishing and preserving the family unit, if sufficient living space is available, the means of subsistence of the whole family is ensured in Germany and the stay does not infringe or endanger the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany for any other reason.

Immigration of Spouses

The granting of a residence permit for the spouse/registered partner normally requires that both are at least 18 years old, that the spouse/registered partner can prove basic German language skills and that the foreigner living in Germany holds a residence permit.

In addition the marriage/registered partnership must already have existed before the foreigner immigrated to Germany. The spouse/registered partner can immigrate immediately if the foreigner holds a residence permit for occupation and the expected stay of the foreigner will exceed one year.

If the marriage/registered partnership took place after immigration, the spouse/registered partner can only immigrate after the foreigner has stayed in Germany for two years – this is not the case with Highly Qualified Employees, holders of an EU Blue Card and Researchers. In these cases the spouse/registered partner can follow immediately.

Spouses/registered partners of holders of an EU Blue Card do not need to prove German language skills in principle. Spouses/registered partners of highly-qualified employees, self-employed persons/freelancers or researchers do not need to prove German language skills if the marriage/registered partnership existed when the highly-qualified employee, self-employed person/freelancer or researcher changed his/her main residency to Germany.

It is not necessary to have knowledge of the German language if language learning is impossible because the spouse/partner is not able to learn a language due to a physical, mental or emotional illness or handicap.

In exceptional cases language skills may also be irrelevant if the spouse/partner is not able or it is not reasonable for them to make efforts to gain simple knowledge of the German language before immigration to Germany due to special reasons of an individual case or if they have not been able to reach the required language level despite serious efforts made within one year. The intention is to address the special conditions in which the spouse/partner is in the country of origin. After immigration to Germany these conditions are irrelevant for language learning.

To check whether language learning is reasonable, availability of learning opportunities, their costs, accessibility and personal circumstances which oppose using learning opportunities, such as illness or indispensability, have to be considered. Efforts to learn a language shall be unreasonable if language courses are not offered in the respective country or attending would result in a security risk and if there are not any possibly successful alternatives for language learning. In this case, the expiry of the one-year period does not have to be awaited.

Illiteracy does not necessarily result in language learning to be unreasonable.

For foreigners already living in Germany and intending to permanently live here, acquiring simple language skills is neither impossible nor unreasonable. The intention is to address the special conditions in which the spouse/partner is in the country of origin. After immigration to Germany these conditions are irrelevant for language learning.

Which additional documents are required?

Apart from the usual documents several further documents are necessary:

  • certificate of marriage or registered partnership [original and a copy],
  • proof of sufficient means of subsistence (wages and salary certificates or tax statements and business reports of the spouse/registered partner) [original and a copy],
  • if nec. proof of German language skills (standards of the Association of Language Testers in Europe - ALTE).

Immigration of Children

Minor, unmarried children have an entitlement to immigration if the parents or the parent with sole custody hold a residence permit and they relocated their main residency to Germany together with the parent/s. In case of joint custody the immigration of children can take place to a parent only if the other parent assented.

Minor, unmarried children from the age of 16 who immigrate separately from the parents/the parent with the sole custody, have to command the German language or show that their integration in Germany is guaranteed by their previous education and living circumstances.

Which additional documents are required?

Apart from the usual documents several further documents are necessary:

  • birth certificate of the child [original and a copy],
  • if nec, proof of custody [original and a copy],
  • in case of joint custody the approval of the parent who is not immigrate with the child [original and a copy],
  • proof of sufficient means of subsistence (wages and salary certificates or tax statements and business reports of the parent/s) [original and a copy],
  • in the case of children aged 6 or over confirmation of school attendance or declaration of admission by a school [original and a copy],
  • in the case of separate immigration from the age of 16, if nec., proof of German language skills (standards of the Association of Language Testers in Europe - ALTE),

Are Family Members entitled to work in Germany?

The residence permit for Family Members entitles to work.

Which forms are required?

Application Form for a Residence Permit