If you or your spouse are entitled to live in Germany, your children under the age of 18 are also entitled to a temporary or permanent residence permit.
If your children are citizens of a member state of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), they do not require a visa to enter Germany and can live and work in Germany without restriction.
If your children are citizens of a country which is not in the EU or the EEA, they will generally need a visa to enter Germany. If you and your spouse hold temporary resident permits for Germany, your children under 16 years of age will also receive a temporary resident permit in order for them to join you (Section 32 of the Residence Act [AufenthG]). If you are a single parent, you can also apply for a visa for your children. However, in this case, you will need to obtain the consent of the other parent entitled to custody.
To obtain a visa to join you, your children must also meet the following criteria:
- They must not be married, divorced or widowed
- They must be under 18 years of age.