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Family reunion for children

Of course, your children can also live with you in Germany. You can find out here how to bring them to you.

Bringing your children to Germany

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.

Info box

Special requirements apply to children over the age of 16. Your local German Embassy will be able to inform you about them. If your child is already 18 years of age, they must generally apply for a separate resident title of their own.

Birth of a child in Germany

What happens if a child is born in Germany? If at the time of the birth you hold a valid residence title, your child will also be granted a residence permit. See Section 33 of the Residence Act (AufenthG).

German citizenship is based on the principle of parentage. This means that if either parent is a German citizen, the child automatically obtains German citizenship at birth. In special cases, children can obtain German nationality at birth in addition to the nationality of their parents. You can find more information about the rules which apply in this case in the section on living permanently in Germany.

Information on the web

  1. Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) Family portal
  2. Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) Important information about family reunification
  3. Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI) Acquiring German citizenship by birth
  4. Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) ESF federal program "Stark im Beruf" supports mothers with a migration background in getting a job

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

You can find out more about the various contact options by clicking on one of the icons in the bar below.

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