Are you married and have children? Moving to Germany to study and leaving your family behind is a big step and not easy. But it is also possible to bring your family with you to Germany. In this way, you can have your family with you during your studies at IGC and spend a nice time together in Bremen.
Visa for Family Reunification
If you are married to a foreigner who has a residence permit in Germany, such as a student visa, you have basic knowledge of the German language (level A1) and are at least 18 years old like your spouse, you can get a visa for family reunion. It is also required that there is sufficient living space available and that your livelihood is secured during your stay in Germany.
Like your spouse, your children are also eligible for a visa. The following applies: Children under the age of 16 do not need to prove their knowledge of German. Children between the ages of 16 and 18, however, must have German language skills at the C1 level. In certain exceptional cases, however, proof of language proficiency may not be required.
Make an appointment with the German Embassy well in advance
If a visa for family reunification is an option for you and your family, you should make an appointment with the German embassy or consulate in your home country as early as possible – ideally as soon as you have decided where you want to study. The visa processing time depends on the embassy or consulate and varies greatly. It can take up to several months. Therefore, it is important to apply for both student and family reunification visas as early as possible. The visa processing fee is usually 75.00 euros for adults and 37.50 euros for children under 18. Check with your German embassy in advance to determine what documents you will need to submit with your application.
If you are not sure what type of visa you need or what documents are required for the visa process, you can also use the German Foreign Office's visa navigator.
The main requirements at a glance
In order to obtain a visa for family reunification, the following requirements in particular must be met:
- You have a residence permit: You already have a residence permit in Germany, such as a student visa.
- Proof of family relationship: You must prove that there is an actual family relationship. This can be done with a marriage certificate, birth certificates of children or other documents that prove the family relationship. In the case of marriage, it is also important that the marriage took place before the student visa was issued.
- Financial resources: The livelihood of you and your family members in Germany must be secured. It is usually required that your family has sufficient financial means to support themselves without resorting to social benefits.
- German language skills: The spouse must have a basic knowledge of the German language (level A1). German language skills are not required for children under the age of 16. Children between 16 and 18 years of age usually must have German language skills at the C1 level.
- Health Insurance: Health insurance is mandatory in Germany. Therefore, you must prove that all family members have health insurance in Germany or that an appropriate insurance will be taken out.
- Application and processing time: The application for a family reunification visa is usually submitted to the German embassy or consulate in your home country. Make sure that all required documents are completed and submitted. Processing a family reunification visa application can take some time. Allow sufficient time for processing and submit your application on time.
Finally, please note that the exact requirements and procedures may vary depending on your individual situation. It is therefore advisable to contact your German embassy or consulate or visit the official website of the German Foreign Office for up-to-date information and specific requirements.
Our International Student Assistance team (ISA) will also be happy to provide you with advice on visa and residence permit.