How to move to Germany – Family Reunification (II)

I started a blog series on how to move to Germany. Last week I touched on moving to Germany via post graduate education. This post will focus on moving to Germany with your family.

I will discuss the following:
– what is the family reunion visa
– who is eligible for this type of visa
– visa application process
– what you are permitted to do when you move to Germany with this visa

What is the family reunion visa?

It is a long stay visa (90 days) which allows relatives of residents (sponsor) in Germany to move here long term.

Who is eligible for this visa?

As mentioned, relatives of residents in Germany can benefit from this visa. It is particularly for the core/nuclear family. There is a possibility for other members of your family to come to Germany with this visa but the process is rather cumbersome. Priority is given to the core family.

Visa application process

Depending on your country of origin, processing this visa could be as short as 3 months or as long as two years. In certain African countries, it’s almost impossible to get this visa.

You and your sponsor (resident in Germany) need to meet certain requirements.

In addition to the standard documents presented during visa applications, the sponsor needs to have the following:
– Settlement permit in Germany
– Health Insurance
– Adequate living space
– Sufficient income without depending on social benefits from the German Government

In addition to the standard documents presented during visa applications, you need to have the following:
– Marriage certificate (if married to the resident in Germany)
– Divorce certificates (if married before)
– Proof of German language skills (A1 German Certificate / ability to communicate in German). Spouses of residents in Germany holding a Blue Card are exempt from proving German language skills
– Child custody agreement

What to expect when in Germany

You need to convert this visa to a residence permit once you arrive in Germany. With this residence permit, you are allowed to take any form of employment within Germany – of course you need to be employable. If you are not, there are opportunities available to you take training courses to better equip you for the job market.

After five years of living in Germany, you qualify for a permanent residence if you can prove good German language skills (B1), have sufficient income, contributed to the German Pension fund for at least 60 months, adequate health insurance, living space and no criminal record.
For spouses joining a German citizen, you qualify for the permanent residence after 3 years.

If you have any question, do not hesitate to ask them in the comment section. I hope you found this useful and here are some links for you:
Family Reunification of third-country nationals in Germany
European Migration Network – Family Reunification

5 thoughts on “How to move to Germany – Family Reunification (II)

    • Jennie B. says:

      Hello Hills, Congratulations on your admission. If you got a scholarship in addition to your admission, the scholarship organizers can organize this for you. If you are going to Germany on your own (as in having a blocked account or through a sponsor), you would first need to come to Germany, obtain your residence permit and then bring your wife over to reunite with you. Hope this helps..if there is any other question, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading!


  1. george says:

    Hi my family now lives in Germany and i would like to move there too but the law is one thing i’m not well aware of please help. im alread in my early thirties so i wanna know does the put alimit to the application age allowed for this type of visa


    • Jennie B. says:

      Hello George, it’ll be very difficult for you to move to Germany using this visa. Family reunification is mostly for minor unmarried children (up to age 17). If you’re 18 and above, your family would need to show that you’re in dire need of their assistance (and unmarried) before this visa can be granted.


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