Granting a residence permit for the reunification of parents and other family members

Other family members of Germans and foreign nationals living in Germany can obtain a residence permit for family reasons in special cases of hardship. This allows them to move to Germany and are entitled to gainful employment.

Other members of the family are those who are not:

  • Children
  • Spouses or
  • are registered life partners.
  • Proof of compliance with passport and visa requirements
  • Proof of secure livelihood
  • Proof that there is no reason for expulsion against you
  • Proof that you do not endanger or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • in the case of reunification with Germans in addition: Proof of German citizenship and habitual residence in Germany from the person you are joining
  • in the case of reunification with non-Germans additionally:
    • Proof of the residence permit of your family member already living in Germany
    • Proof of sufficient living space
  • Proof that there is a special hardship case

Hint: Depending on the other requirements you have to meet, the competent authority may require additional documents.


  • You meet the passport and visa requirements.
  • Your livelihood is secured without you using public funds.
  • There is no reason for expulsion against you.
  • Your stay does not endanger or adversely affect the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • In the case of reunification with Germans in addition: The person you are joining has German citizenship and usually resides in Germany.
  • in case of reunification to non-Germans additionally: Your family member already living in Germany has a
    • Settlement permit,
    • EC permanent residence permit or
    • Residence permit and
    • sufficient living space available.
  • There is a special hardship case, e.g. because the family members living here are dependent on your life support due to the need for care.

In addition, you must meet other requirements. Inquire directly with the responsible authority.


In most cases, foreign citizens in family life with Germans receive a settlement permit after three years.

Young people foreign nationals who

  • grew up in Germany or
  • have entered the country as part of the child reunification,

can also obtain a settlement permit under facilitated conditions.

The reunification of family members of nationals of eu/EEA states is governed by the Freedom of Movement Act/EU. This means:

  • Family members of eu/EEA nationals who are themselves members of an EU or EEA state can enter the country freely and pursue gainful employment.
  • Family members of nationals of EU/EEA countries who are not themselves not members of an EU or EEA state also have a right of entry and residence.

Since 1 September 2011, you will receive the residence permit in the form of a credit card with additional electronic functions. Further information can be found under Electronic Residence Permit (eAT).

Related Links

  • Residence Act (AufenthG)
  • § 3 Freedom of Movement Act/EU (FreizügG/EU) (family members of UNION citizens)

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