Citizens of Third Countries
Residence and subsequent immigration of dependants
Spouses and under-age children of third country citizens who have a residence permit to enable them to reside in Germany can apply to a German embassy abroad for the subsequent immigration of their family.
Subsequent immigration of spouses and partners
The subsequent immigration of spouses has certain conditions in Germany. A third party citizen living in Germany must
- have a permanent settlement or residence permit or have had a temporary residence permit for at least five years, be a recognised refugee or entitled to asylum,
- have adequate housing available,
- generally be able to ensure that they have shared means of subsistence including health insurance cover,
- generally prove a basic knowledge of German (language certificate A1).
Both spouses must also be at least 18 years of age and the spouse immigrating subsequently must generally prove a basic knowledge of German. There must also be no reasons for deportation. The duration of stay must be more than one year.
These rules also apply to same-sex partnerships.
Subsequent immigration of children
Under-age, unmarried children of foreign nationals have a fundamental right to subsequently immigrate to Germany with their parents. Children under 16 years of age are privileged; they only require legal guardianship and a residence or settlement permit. They must have adequate housing available and the means of subsistence including health insurance cover.
Subsequent immigration of other family members
Family members who are not part of the nuclear family, such as grown-up children and grandparents, can only apply for subsequent immigration if "exceptional hardship" would otherwise occur. This would be the case, for example, if the family member living in Germany or abroad requires illness- or age-related assistance and no proof of this can be shown in the local country.