Act on the General Freedom of Movement for EU subsequent immigration of dependent family members
For subsequent immigration of dependent family members, a difference is made between married spouses and under-aged children. In rare cases, subsequent immigration of other family members, (e. g. siblings, grand-parents) is possible. The subsequent immigration of dependent family members can take place towards a German citizen, towards a EU-citizen or towards a foreigner with a residence permit. After the entry with a visa, the married spouse generally has the right to participate in an "integration-class" and in many cases must participate in this class.
Generally, before entering Germany, it has to be applied for a visa for the subsequent immigration of dependent family members. The application for a Schengen-Visa (as a tourist) is not sufficient. Also, family members of EU-citizens principally need a visa as long as they are not EU-citizens themselves.
Subsequent immigration of a married partner
The subsequent immigration of a married partner is only possible after the 18 year of age. In most cases, the right to receive a visa exists. The married spouse who is already living here has to have a residence permit, a settlement permit or a long-term residence permit. With certain humanitarian residence permits, subsequent immigration of a married partner is excluded or only possible in rare cases.
The married spouse of a German or a foreigner with a residence permit has to prove basic German language skills before he or she arrives in Germany. At the visa interview a simple German conversation has to be possible and a short text in German has to be written. Usually a language certificate level A1 is requested, which can be received at the Goethe Institute in the home country. An exception can only be made if - due to disability or disease - the German language can not be learned. Also, some citizens from certain countries, who do not need a visa to enter Germany, don‘t have to learn German. Furthermore, married spouses of EU-citizens do not have to prove German language skills.
In the case of a subsequent immigration of a married partner, sufficiently large living space has to be available. In the case of immigration towards the spouse living in Germany, sufficient means to support him- or herself have to be secured.
Subsequent immigration of children
A foreign child under the age of 18 receives a visa and a residence permit without further requirements, if the mother or father wants to live in Germany and has the German citizenship (e. g. after a naturalization).
At the subsequent immigration of children it depends on their age. In any case, the sufficient means to support the child and sufficient living space have to be available. Children, who are not yet 16 years old receive a visa and a residence permit if both parents or the parent with custody have a residence permit or a settlement permit. If the child is already 16 years old, it is required that the child speaks German. If the child does not speak German yet, it will be checked whether the child is likely to integrate well into German society.
Children wishing to join their non-German parents in Germany have a legal entitlement to do so until they reach the age of 18; this applies to children of persons entitled to asylum, children of refugees under the Geneva Convention and children entering Germany together with their families or to children with proficiency in the German language or children who are likely to integrate well into German society. In cases of hardship an exception can be made so that children under 18 years of age can subsequently immigrate. Only certain humanitarian residence permits do not allow for subsequent immigration of children.
In specific exceptional cases a subsequent immigration of dependent family members of other foreign relatives of a German or a foreigner is possible. This can be his or her own parents, siblings or other family members. It is a precondition that the subsequent immigration of dependent family members is necessary to prevent unusual hardship. This may be the case if e. g. a family member is diseased or has very high care needs and no other relatives live in the home country who could take care of the family member. In this case it also has to be proved that sufficient means and sufficient living space are available. It especially has to be proven that a long-term (generally private) health insurance can be contracted.