Guide to Accompanying Your Family to Germany with a Student Visa


April 30, 2024

Guide to Accompanying Your Family to Germany with a Student Visa


  • International students studying in Germany have the option to reunite with family members, such as spouses and children, through the German Family Reunion Visa. Certain nationals may enter Germany without a visa but require a residence permit.
  • Spouses, children below 16, and sometimes other family members like parents or extended relatives can accompany the student in Germany, provided they meet particular conditions and prerequisites.
  • Students must hold a valid residence permit, ensure adequate living space, possess comprehensive health insurance, demonstrate financial stability, and, for certain family members, exhibit proficiency in the German language to sponsor their family’s stay.
  • Initiating Family Reunion Visa Applications: Must Originate in Applicant’s Country of Residence or Legal Domicile. The process entails scheduling an appointment, submitting required documents, and, upon arrival, applying for a German residence permit

Understanding the German Family Reunion Visa:

The German Family Reunion Visa (Visum zur Familienzusammenführung) is a specialized authorisation permitting the non-EU/EEA family members of international students in Germany to join them. Crafted to uphold familial unity, this visa facilitates the residence of immediate family members in Germany while the student pursues their academic program, contingent upon holding a German residence permit for study.

Citizenship Requirement for Family Reunion Visa

EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, or Switzerland Denoted as not needing a visa due to Freedom of Movement. Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, United Kingdom are Not required to possess a visa for entry into Germany; however, They are required to apply for a residence permit upon their arrival.

Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, and San Marino are Exempted from needing a visa to enter Germany and are mandated to apply for a residence permit upon arrival, with the caveat of requiring a visa if intending to work in Germany.

All other nationalities require a visa.

Streamlining Family Reunification: A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Visa for Germany

  • Spouse/civil partner
  • Children under 16
  • Children over 16

On rare occasions, certain family members may qualify for reunification in Germany. This includes biological or adoptive parents of both German and foreign adult or minor children residing in Germany, adult children seeking to join their parents, and minor children aiming to reunite with adult close family members. Additionally, relatives beyond the immediate family, such as siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins, may also be eligible for reunification under specific circumstances

General Requirements:

For family reunification with third-country nationals in Germany:

  • Sponsors must hold a valid residence permit.
  • Adequate living space: Approximately 12 square meters per adult and 10 square meters per child under 6 (excluding babies up to 2 years old).
  • Sufficient health insurance: “Family insurance” can cover your family’s health; provide your insurance policy and a letter confirming your family member’s addiction upon arrival.
  • Financial stability: Your income should independently cover your family’s needs without relying on public assistance, assessed case-by-case by the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde).
  • German language proficiency: Some family members must demonstrate German language skills before receiving their visa and may need to participate in integration courses upon arrival in Germany.


Additional conditions for your husband or wife to join you:

    • Both Partners Must Be of Legal Age, at Least 18 Years Old.
    • Basic German proficiency (A1 level) demonstrated through a test or interview at the embassy (EU or partner country citizens may be exempt; additional exemptions may apply).
    • For same-sex partners, official registration of the relationship should precede visa issuance.


Children under 16 can join you in Germany without meeting additional conditions. This also applies to children over 16 if they relocate within six months of their parents’ move.

However, children aged 16 or older who wish to come to Germany after this window must:

    • Show Proficiency in German Language at the C1 Level 
    • Show their ability to adapt to life in Germany, such as attending German-speaking school abroad or growing up in a German-speaking household.

Parents or Other Family Members

A diverse range of family members may be eligible for reunification in Germany to prevent significant hardship, assessed on a case-by-case basis and granted on rare occasions. Circumstances allowing family reunification vary and are complex, such as:

  • Need for family support due to illness, disability, or psychological needs.
  • Situations requiring family care are only available in Germany, such as specialized care needs.
  • Well-being and care needs of minor children, considering their age and situation. For such cases, seeking legal advice is recommended due to the complexity and variability of family reunification circumstances in Germany.

Guide to Applying for a German Family Reunion Visa

Apply in your home country or legal residence country, book an appointment in advance and provide all required documents during the visa interview, typically arranged online.

Upon arrival in Germany, within the initial 3 months, apply for a German residence permit at the local Immigration Office, using many documents from the visa application along with proof of current residence in Germany.

If your country lacks a German embassy or consulate, you may need to apply for a German visa through the embassy or consulate of another country representing German interests in your location

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